The Olympic Games are upon us, which means NHL hockey will suspend its season for about two weeks. Unfortunately, all the talk of the Islanders charging into the break on a strong note didn't come to fruition.
The Islanders dropped a 4-3 Valentine's Day (Sunday, 2/14) contest to Ottawa, a game they led 3-1 after two periods. It was another disheartening loss in a season full of them.
While players like Andy Sutton are still talking playoffs in the locker room, the reality of the Eastern Conference would make such a scenario an extremely difficult task, if not an impossible one. Team members will never sound a sour note, at least publicly, to the media, but a quick look at the current standings show the grim picture. Sutton, whose name has been mentioned prominently in trade talks, might make the playoffs this season, but it likely won't be on Long Island.
Time constraints following the game did not allow us to speak with Kyle following the loss. We did, however, find out through another website that he will be spending some of the Olympic hiatus back home in Minnesota. Some of the team is off for a well-deserved vacation in sunny Mexico, while coach Scott Gordon and Mark Streit are headed to the Winter Games in Vancouver (Gordon as a coach for team USA and Streit as a member of team Switzerland).
As for us, our coverage won't cease, as we plan to bring you our assessment of some off-season changes that need to be made in preparation for 2010-2011, as promised. We'll also have any Islanders news that occurs away from the ice, such as a Lighthouse project update or a trade.
The Isles will swing back into action on March 2nd, when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks of the Western Conference. We hope that you'll stick with both us and the Islanders during this period of relative inactivity.