Let's start from the beginning. I started rooting for the Islanders to lose around Christmas, a month in which they won all of two games. They collapsed into last place in the NHL and stayed there for the remainder of the season despite a late run which saw them just about post a .500 record during Feburary and March. It's blasphemy to openly give up on your team's season that early and want them to lose. But is it really that bad if you've gone through what this fanbase has in the last fifteen years?
They should have screwed it up -- or gotten screwed out of it -- by now. Something should have happened. Frankly, I'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop, wherever it is. This can't be happening, can it? The Islanders with the #1 pick? Don't fuck with me. You're joking. They beat the FREAKING RED WINGS at the Joe a few weeks ago for crying out loud! That was begging to be the game that kept them out of 30th and lost them that 48.2%. That should have been the game that lived in infamy forever, like an April win against the Penguins almost two decades ago when Double J was entering the draft. We got Scott Scissons. They got two Stanley Cups.
There had to be something. Points in a meaningless game. Losing the lottery. Trading the pick before the season even started. Some stupid managerial decision. Anything. Things couldn't actually, you know, go right for once, could they?
8:25 PM EST.
Sweet Baby Jesus. They got it.
Six months later, they still haven't screwed it up. Six months later, they haven't gotten screwed. They got a little help from Lady Luck and won the lottery.
That stuff doesn't happen to them. It's not supposed to. They're supposed be the running joke. The team that's always out of luck and can never do anything right. That's how the story goes.
Well, they still can screw it up. They can trade it. They can select someone who isn't among the Consensus Top Two. They can think they're smarter than everyone else and do something "unconventional". But someone already tried "unconventional" with this franchise and it didn't work.
Thank you Sweet Baby Jesus for banishing Mike Milbury to television.
(And yes, I will still renounce my fanship of the Islanders if they don't select Tavares. But I do amend it to include Hedman, now. I can't say no to the next Denny Potvin.)