Saturday, January 10, 2015

Stability In The Midst Of Chaos

Bobrovsky Signs Extension
As we sit in limbo between the naming of the All-Star team, a high flying New York Islanders team that visits tonight, and my angst concerning last night's performance against Toronto, I have finally realized what I think is going on around us.  Our team has staged a stirring rally on the back drop of a horrifying injury situation.  But this is not last year.  In spite of their play, they are simply unable to make any headway in terms of closing the gap between us and the playoffs.

I look forward extremely to the rest of this season.  Our squad is going to battle all the way, that's how they are wired.  They had a rough period on the road against a team that pulled out all the stops in terms of motivating the players.  They fired the coach, got a talking to by the President of Hockey Ops, who can definitely decide who stays and who goes.  Good Lord, there is nothing left in the playbook short of canning the GM.  So my level of angst about last night's game is more related to my expectations, and my desire for them to lay the wood to Toronto, and not about the actual situation the respective teams were in, and how they might react to that situation.  I think Richie appreciated that situation better than I did.

Keep in mind that this is a roster that has seen 95% turn over since the 2008-09 playoff team.  Change has been the reality of this organization for the last several years.  Take a moment, and ask yourself how many Cup winners underwent radical change before their run to the Cup?  It's not the norm, certainly.  We have changed this team since it last experienced a level of success (not counting last year).  This group has demonstrated an ability to rise from adversity not once, not twice, but three times.  So what do we see.  A stream of contracts locking the core of this team up for the long term future.  This is the core stability that you need for the run.  Central to that run is goal tending.

We have good talent in the pipeline.  We have unexpected talent in the pipeline (Oliver Bjorkstrand, I'm talking to you), and we have a core of experienced, yet young players.  I do not have a good feeling about tonight's game.  I think that in spite of our climb in December, we are not going to be able to close the gap enough to make the playoffs this year.  I KNOW I am going to have a blast going to games for the rest of this season, and fully plan to let my hair down on All-Star weekend.  And I hope that whatever little lucky charm Jarmo keeps is on a roll when they pop the ball to see who gets McDavid.

The future of this group is bright.  We may be looking at some short term pain here, but the long term looks good.  Jarmo has provided stability to this group.  They will respond to that, it's who they are.  And Bob is the ringleader.

It's all good.  I'm looking forward to a fun night tonight, regardless of the outcome.


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