This is it. This is where the bleeding must stop. This far, and no further. The Islanders have found every conceivable way to lose a game over the last 3 weeks and it must stop NOW. Minnesota today and The Orange Crud on Tuesday will be the first opponents of this Do or Die section of the Islanders schedule. If they want to salvage this season then they must win, period. The team stands now at 24-25-6. They are 6 points out of a playoff spot at this point and I will admit that it is by no means an insurmountable amount. The problems are the team is going downhill. 2-7-1 in their last 10 games is not a way to push towards a succesful playoff run. That and there are FOUR teams ahead of them jockeying for the 8th spot. I will not say that it is over, because it is not. What it is though is highly unlikely. What good does finishing 8th do anyway? It earns you 4 games against a juggernaught that is going to run over its 1st round victim in short order. as far as I am concerned finishing 8th isn't making the playoffs, its a one way ticket home.
The team is not going to pull another Ryan Smyth act this season, for one reason is that everyone who has a player to trade would ask for Okposo, and the fact that this summer's draft is going to rival the summer of 'o3's draft where 23 out of the 30 players drafted in the first round are currently in the NHL. I say we play the seller card this season and get the kids in Bridgeport some NHL face time the rest of the way. NHL teams want what we have and thats veterans on short term contracts who don't make serious money who can help in the short term. Who could net the most?
Mike Sillinger - There is a reason he has been traded at the deadline and been on more teams than most players. He is valuable, excellent defensively and great on faceoffs and excellent team player and could literally help anyone.
Mike Comrie - I am not kidding myself into thinking that Comrie is going to sign here long term. This season is a one season audition for a multi year contract up North or out West.
Miro Satan - He can put the puck in the net and is another guy we all know is not going to be back next season anyway. He needs to be a part of an offensive system. Ottawa could use him and he would look really nice next to Heatley and Spezza.
Marc-Andre Bergeron - I still do not understand why this guy is not playing on a team that is DEAD LAST in the NHL in goals for. I have said it before, he is worth the risk to have in the lineup but if he is not going to be used then lets get something for him.
Bryan Berard - Again, offensive defesman on the roster and Aaron Johnson and Andy Sutton are manning the power play. When did I get to bizarro land? I doubt he has any trade value at this point.
Bendan Witt - This is one guy I would not want to part with. On the other hand if a 1st round draft pick were coming the other way you would have to consider it.
Bill Guerin - Has proven he can still find the back of the net and has one year left on his deal. Again if a 1st rounder were involved you would have to consider it.
Josef Vasicek - I am not sure what kind of trade value he has, but he could net a 4-5th round pick. This guy is a microcosm of the Islanders - looks good from time to time but just isnt good enough to get the job done.
The time is coming for hard desicions and I hope I am wrong and this team can turn it back around. The next 2 weeks will tell and if the current trend continues the WORST thing that can happen is the team do nothing. Then a lose becomes a LOSE LOSE.
Let me know who you think should be traded if the tide doesnt turn.