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Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Survival on the Road Must Shift to Dominance at Home
After just about every Islanders game, my HNLI co-host Steve and I make it a priority to have a few minutes of discussion on the game. As I whined after last night's 6-2 loss against the Flyers about the Islanders' inconsistency and failure to show up for every game, Steve snapped right back saying that after playing 14 of 17 games on the road, it says something that the Islanders are still even hanging around the .500 mark and the (admittedly early) playoff race. Now, the Islanders will have the luxury of coming back to Long Island and sleeping in their own beds for the next three weeks. The team's only two "road" tilts in their next ten games are a short ride away at Madison Square Garden.
Now, with the Isles' return to the Coliseum, the attitude must change drastically. Showing up every other night and hanging around the playoff race may be considered a blessing on an extended road trip, but over the course of the next three weeks, the Isles must make a major surge in the right direction. For better or for worse, this home stand will determine the direction of the Islanders' season. A .500 showing won't be enough over the next 10 games, as this block of games needs to set the pace for the second half of the season. While the competition isn't particulary easy, the team needs to take advantage of playing at home and produce an effort similar to February home stand of 2007.
So, whether the Islanders win or lose tonight in Toronto, the most crucial stretch of the season begins Saturday at the Coliseum.
SAT DEC 12, 2009 BRUINS @ ISLANDERS
MON DEC 14, 2009 PANTHERS @ ISLANDERS
WED DEC 16, 2009 ISLANDERS @ RANGERS
THU DEC 17, 2009 RANGERS @ ISLANDERS
SAT DEC 19, 2009 CANADIENS @ ISLANDERS
MON DEC 21, 2009 LIGHTNING @ ISLANDERS
WED DEC 23, 2009 MAPLE LEAFS @ ISLANDERS
SAT DEC 26, 2009 ISLANDERS @ RANGERS
SUN DEC 27, 2009 FLYERS @ ISLANDERS
TUE DEC 29, 2009 BLUE JACKETS @ ISLANDERS