I’ll never forget my history teacher in 1998. A retired cop, he was a hardcore right wing conservative. Half the time his history class was nothing more but informing us of how badly the Democrats were going to be beaten in the upcoming election. It wasn’t just him though. Every analyst worth a cent was saying how the Democrats were going to be beaten. The Monica Lewinsky scandal was going to be the last nail in the coffin to finish off the Democrats. It’s funny how from November on I never remember this teacher mentioning Politics again, as the Democrats actually gained 5 seats in the house to the shock of everyone. It ended up people were sick and tired about Lewinsky and how the Republicans were carrying on when there were more important things that needed to get done.
I can see the same quiet anger growing now. The reality is that the news and press are making more of the Tea Party Movement then it really is. Since Obama has taken office, the Republicans have done nothing but try to block everything he wants to do. From extending unemployment benefits, allowing tax breaks for only the rich to end to even bringing nationwide health care (something our neighbors in Canada and Cuba have had for countless years) the Republicans have simply said No without offering their own answer. Is it that hard to imagine that there is a silent majority out there who are approving of what Obama has done? It’s hard to believe that only two years into Obama’s term that people have forgotten 99% of the mess the USA is in is due to Bush. Or that things like the BP Oil Spill weren’t exactly free of Bush influence. Even the salmonella in eggs is due in part to Bushes lax regulations.
I just wouldn’t be surprised if the Democrats managed to break even in the 2010 elections. Polls use such a small polling sample (How 5,000 people get to say what the nations opinion is is beyond me) and the blow hards from the right are a minority. Obama and the Dems are trying to take steps to improve the mess that Bush and his regime left in their wake. It’s as though people expect Obama to be the Cat In The Hat, the children have wrecked the house and now mother is almost home. It’s time for the Cat in the Hat to use his magic and clean the mess. Well, I’m sorry, but the world doesn’t work that way. It’s obvious that Obama and everyone else have been working hard to fix what’s wrong, but to turn around and give power back to the ones who have made the mess and have promised to do nothing to fix it? That makes little to no sense.
Just a quick look at the 2010 Playoffs and the possibility the Islanders might make it. First off what the Islanders need to do it.
- Stay Healthy. Islanders have lead or been close to the lead in man games lost to injury nearly as long as I’ve been a fan.
- Biron and Roloson have to have career years. They both have the motivation to get it done. Roloson surprised the Oilers by not resigning because he wanted a 2 year. Biron after a heroic run to the conference finals a year ago is let go because of salary demands and ends up signing for 50K more then his replacement.
- The young forwards have to step it up as they have a year or two under their belts, and Tavares has to have a Stamkos type point season.
Then it comes to the competition. Team by Team based on confrence standings.
Boston: Automatic to be in unless Thomas fades
Washington: Near Automatic unless Ovechkin gets injuried or their goalies can’t get it done
New Jersey: Automatic even with questions about Broduer
Pittsburgh: Automatic, young team might be a dynasty.
Philly: The season is in the hands of Emery, whose best years were with a much more talented club and he’s a head case.
Carolina: Borderline. Despite getting to the confrence finals, the Southeast should be better this year.
Rangers: Added almost nothing in the offseason, but still have Redden! Team lives and dies by Lundquist and might be less talented then last year.
Montreal: Should miss the playoffs this year. Should have missed them last year as well. The only tiebreaker they had over Florida was an OT shootout victory over them.
Thats it for last years playoffs team. Four teams should most definitely be returning to the fold, leaving four spots for the next seven teams
Florida: Losing Bouwmaster should kill this teams playoffs hopes early.
Buffalo: Would have made the playoffs last year if not for Miller’s injury. Should make them this year.
Ottawa: With the Heatly mess and goaltending mess this team might come in the top 6 in the confrence or bottom out.
Toronto: Can’t expect much from a Rookie Goalie from Sweden, no matter how big he is and how good he looks.
Atlanta: This is a do or die season for Atlanta in more then one way. If they can’t get to the playoffs they probably have to trade Kolachuk and start rebuilding again in a town which doesn’t care about them. This might be their season to make some noise in the playoffs and get Atlanta excited.
Tampa Bay: If it wasn’t for Phoenix, people would realize how much of a mess this team was.
So at the very least two teams should be out of the Eastern Confrence Playoffs and two should be in. I’d say that the Rangers and Flyers are my choices not to return to the playoffs. Buffalo should make it with a healthy Miller. That leaves Atlanta, Tampa, Toronto, Ottawa and Florida. If Ottawa can get an equal value for Heaty or if Atlanta plays with determenation either team should have enough talent to get in.
But just in case you want a glimmer of hope as an Isles fan, as I do, Leclaire and Lehtionen, the starters for both teams have had a tendency to miss half seasons due to injuries lately. Roloson and Biron can be starting for just about any team in the league, so lets cross our fingers for some injuries to finally kick some other team in the ass.