Ask any Islander fan which is the one team that has given this organization fits over the past decade, and it wouldn't take long to figure it out. The Ottawa Senators have owned the Isles, posting a 35-12-11-1 record entering this season.
I have never agreed with taking an all-time series record to make a prediction of future results. Each season is different for every team, with new faces in the rotation and old faces gone. There's no denying though the confidence, or lack thereof, one organization can have playing another when the history is so lopsided. Such has been this series. New players, new coaches, same results.
Thus entering the back to back series with a record of 4-9-2, one had to believe that a bad situation was about to get worse. Granted, the Sens had been going through their own struggles this season and weren't the powerhouse they used to be... but again, look at the history. This was the two games to turn the Sens season around and send the Isles further into the cellar.
Right? Well, the Isles put together two back to back 60 minute efforts, something we haven't seen all year, and improved to 6-9-2. Suddenly this throw away season has some new life. Players and coaches are focusing on a return to .500 play. There appears to be a new sense of focus and energy.
That being said, is it possible that with their back to back wins, that the monkey is off the back of the Islanders? That somehow the failure of an organization over another that had crept into the psyche of the team is no more? Can the Isles use the two wins to turn the corner on a disappointing start to the season?
Something certainly feels different anyway.
The Canucks come to town tonight with their impressive start and reckon to be a force for the Isles to deal with. Can the Isles continue the momentum towards .500 with another win?