Tavares or Hedman a near certainty after 30th spot is secured
Islander fans, your long wait is over. Your team is now absolutely guaranteed to finish no worst than second from the bottom (pending the results of the Draft Lottery to be held this Tuesday) in the league. A franchise-type player may be yours for the taking.
Former Islander captain Bill Guerin scored and Mathieu Garon stopped 28 shots to help the Pittsburgh Penguins trounce the New York Islanders last night, 6-1. The Pens also received goals from Phillippe Boucher, Tyler Kennedy, Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke and Sidney Crosby to secure the easy win. The Islanders' lone tally was recorded by Frans Nielsen.
The Penguins certainly didn't come out of the tunnel with much passion and the Islanders struck first on a power play. However, it's nearly impossible to keep the level of talent that Pittsburgh possesses down for long. In any event, even if it were possible, the Islanders don't have the defensive stalwarts required to perform such a task. The home team exploded in the third period for three goals to put the game away for good. Garon, who earned only his third victory since December, needed to be merely adequate to seal the victory.
Sure, there are two games remaining on the Islanders schedule this weekend (against Philadelphia and Boston) but you won't find too many fans caring about their results now. The only subject on every Islander fans' minds at the moment is “How will the Lottery turn out”? By finishing in last place, the Islanders have a 48.2% chance of keeping the top spot. If another non-playoff team wins the lottery, New York will slide to second place. Either slot is early enough to select either Canadian super-sniper John Tavares or Swedish defensive stalwart Victor Hedman. It honestly doesn't matter which one ends up as a New York Islander. The team needs help in all areas. Of course, GM Garth Snow could make things interesting by trading the pick as he did last year. However, if he does so (and the return is less than spectacular), the team won't need to worry about what to do with the aging Nassau Coliseum anymore.
Rabid Islander fans would burn it to the ground.
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Written by Frank Mazzola