I’m going to make this somewhat short and sweet. The Islanders success last month is now a double edged sword. People were/are unwilling to admit that this was an over achieving team. Short memory also means that most people forget how bad this season started off in September/October. I’m not worried, if the team is going to get cold then its better to get cold in February then in April. Just ask last year’s Penguins how that works.
But people seem to be really down on Scott Gordon. I just wanted to say at the very least he deserves one more year if not two. First off, you can throw last year’s team away. Not only was it his first season, but everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I still wonder why on earth Dubie wasn’t brought back as a backup. This season the Islanders have been impressive for large periods of time, especially for a team that was considered by many to be the worst in the league. The other bright spot for the Islanders this year? The continued development of prized prospects Bailey, Okposo, Tavares along with the breaking out of Schremp and Moulson. Also factor in two players were considered marginal NHL replacements, MacDonald and Kohn, have played well enough to displace Witt. You memory doesn’t have to be that good to remember 10-15 years ago and all our prospects who did horrible on the Island and great elsewhere.
Another reason to keep Gordon is stability. I say the same thing about the Jets, during the time I’ve been a Jets fan it seems like every 3-4 years we get a new coach. Meanwhile the Giants have been to two Super Bowls and a contender while only hiring 3 coaches during the same period. There’s something to be said of having a coach for more then just two seasons. I think recent Islander history shows so much.
From 1972 to 1994 (22 years) the Islanders won 4 Stanley Cups, made it to Five Finals and over 200 Playoff Games (128 Playoff Wins) with 5 Coaches including Al Arbour Twice.
From 1994 to 2010 (16 years) the Islanders have made the playoffs 4 Times, played a total of 22 Playoff games and 6 Playoff wins. They also have not made it out of the first round. During this time they have had 12 coaching changes (not including Arbour’s special game) with Lorne Henning and Mike Milbury each having two separate stints.
Gordon was the coach picked by Snow. So far they seem to be working well together. Snows free agent signings seem to be players who will work the best in Gordon’s system. If you get rid of Gordon now your upsetting the chemistry, possibly upsetting the youth, and worst of all you might be starting from scratch. If you bring in someone and they want players A,B and C, suddenly its a whole new game plan. Quite truthfully as long as the young players continue showing improvement this is going to be a good team and Gordon is a success.
So give Gordon one more year. Let’s see if the youth keeps developing. Let’s see if DiPietro can return to old form. Let’s see if Snow can get another Moulson/Streit/Schremp level pickup in the offseason. When Milbury was in charge during his first few years there was always signs of insanity lurking in the background. I have faith in Snow which I didn’t before this season. I think Gordon’s the right guy for what Snow is planing, and stability when it comes to coaching is a good thing.