The Morning Skate: Prediction Time Begins Again

Kevin Schultz, Islanders Point Blank:

It’s only August, so most media outlets haven’t yet put together their pre-season predictions for the Islanders. It’s still really early. But as Lighthouse detailed earlier this week, the Hockey News is out in front of everyone (because they have to actually print the darned thing? I’m not sure). They’ve got the Islanders pegged for fifth in the new Atlantic Metropolitan Division, which I guess is some respect as it’s more than the usual “none”. But it also puts them outside of the playoffs, as THN predicts only the top-three will get in to the dance.
  1. Pittsburgh Penguins
  2. New York Rangers
  3. Philadelphia Flyers
  4. Columbus Blue Jackets
  5. New York Islanders
  6. Washington Capitals
  7. Carolina Hurricanes
  8. New Jersey Devils

To my eye, it’s not a bad ranking. The Rangers could have an up year, they are only two years removed from a (regular season) Eastern Conference title, after all. Although how the hell do the Flyers make the playoffs after last season’s train wreck and the fact that they don’t have a goalie (and no, Ray Emery doesn’t count until proven otherwise)?

But this is the debate that makes the summer go by, so share your thoughts in the comments.


Beating this Coliseum thing into the ground… 

Eyes on Isles made what I think is an excellent point about the Coliseum/Barclays point-counterpoint that has gone on lately (special thanks to Ed Mangano, Bruce Ratner, et al. for giving us stuff to talk and write about in August). And they did it in three paragraphs as opposed to the 2,000 words I used yesterday.

Arguments that the Islanders will one day return to Uniondale in all their glory—hypothetically to a sold-out arena complete with luxury boxes that aren’t in the current design specs, a possible on-site public transportation hub that will allow out-of-towners to easily come to games, and a completely redeveloped surrounding area with a mall and a minor-league baseball stadium—are mostly based on a series of “what-ifs.”

Sure, team owner Charles Wang could sell the team. Sure, the seating configuration at Barclays Center isn’t ideal for hockey and may impact the Islanders’ ability to draw fans. And sure, Ratner just won the Coliseum bid, which somehow means he’s automatically bringing the Isles back to Nassau County just as soon as he cuts the ribbon on a supposed shining star of an arena in the not-too-distant future.

But when an argument relies on such a combination of “what-ifs” and “hey, it could happens,” and “no, just hear me outs,” it’s an argument with little evidence to support itself.

The scenarios of the Islanders returning are not impossible, but the ones I’ve seen so far are not backed up with evidence or knowledge of how stadiums are built and how RFPs work.


ALSO: NYI National Hockey League of Nations from Yahoo/BD Gallof