Thursday, September 13, 2007

Camp Opens Tomorrow!

The team will be arriving in Moncton later today, with camp officially starting tomorrow. It was an eventful summer and we had a lot of Isles news to hold us over, but nothing can match the start of camp and, in less than a month, the season. Here are some of the key questions that will finally be answered over the coming weeks...

Will Berard make the team? Or will Gervais and Campoli have a solid camp and prove they deserve to be on the roster? Maybe there will be a surprise and we'll see a new face (Johnson, Fata, McDonald) step up and make the decision even tougher for Snow and Nolan. I have a top 6 in mind at this point, but a lot can happen during camp to change opinions.

Which young forwards will we will see in orange and blue? Ok, so Bridgeport is wearing orange and blue too this year, but you know what I mean. Anyone who's been following this team or who's read the "Countdown to Camp" series on the Isles official site knows that we have a lot of forwards competing in camp. And there's simply not enough room for everyone. The "locks" to make the team are - Guerin, Comrie, Satan, Hunter, Sillinger, Fedotenko, Vasicek, Sim, and Bergenheim. I would assume Simon is close to a lock as well, once his suspension is complete. That leaves two spots to be filled, with a lot of familiar and new faces in the mix - Bates, Park, Hilbert, Tambellini, Nielsen, Comeau, Regier, Walter...etc. Frankly, I have no idea at this point how it is all going to shake out. For me, this is the biggest story I'll be following during camp.

Will DP stay healthy and continue his rise towards being an elite NHL goalie? I was hugely impressed by DPs development last year, and continue to think he is the key to our success in '07-'08. I love Dubie, but our success clearly rides on Ricky's shoulders.

Will Ted Nolan once again defy ALL prognosticators and lead this team back to the playoffs? I only get angry looking at so-called "expert" predictions for the coming season, but I guess I'm a glutton for punishment. We continue to get no respect throughout the hockey world. Lucky for us, they still play the games. I believe we will have a better team than we did last year. Not dramatically, but enough to be in the mix come playoff time once again. From there, anything can happen.

The last question is for us - can hockey once again thrive on Long Island? Sure, winning cures all, and will bring back all the fair weather fans. But in the meantime, can we as fans help to build support for our team? The team has done a lot to help connect fans with the team - ITV, the Blog Box, the marketing campaigns - but no one can help build support better than the fans. Go to the games and demand better coverage from our local media. It's a start. Like I've said to many people, I love being able to get in and out of the Coliseum lot on game nights, but nothing is better than a game with 16,234 loud fans supporting our team. Let's go Islanders!


Anonymous said...

i hope you mean to say isalnders 180 a 360 would have the islanders lose another 2 play off games at home and be out of the play offs with out any sight of hope

Mike Carey said...

Not exactly what I had in mind with the title. 360 used more as an "all encompassing" term rather than a comment about how this season will turn out. But hey, thanks for checking out the blog.

Anonymous said...

should be an awesome season. all the new guys seemed psyched to be out there playin for the isles.

check it out here.

Anonymous said...

there alot of holes and questions to be answered. forwards are decent but if you have an injury to any one of your forwards then the islanders are toast because they lack a strong farm system. Most of the baby soundtigers forwards are a work in progress. (it's not a slight, because they are doing the right thing, but not one of their forwards in their system is NHL ready). A good fantasy player is Radek Martinek. Great offensive skills. Excellent plus minus rating. Though prone to injury he will have another break out season because the isles signed one of his buddies from his hometown. Islander country should not worry about the goaltending chores because Ricky Dee is a solid top ten goalie in the NHL. Coming off hip surgery Ricky will shake off the effects from the surgery and the rust by playing several preseason games. Dubie is a great Back up. They both have NHL experience and have faced do or die games. Underrated Islanders are Trent(two-way) Hunter & Radek Martinek. If sean Bergenheim makes the team he will have a breakout season. Islanders gave too much for Ryan Smyth which leaves the Islanders Cupboard Empty. An injury free season will help the islanders take some teams by surprise. But my prediction is third in their division and eleventh in the conference.

Mike Carey said...

I feel like third in the Atlantic this year is going to translate to way better than 11th in the Conference. I think 4 of the top 8 teams will come out of our division. Let's hope we're one of them.