NHL Standings Basement Battle
December 24, 2008 by Big Tony
In the battle for futility on Long Island Tuesday night the Atlanta Thrashers defeated the New York Islanders 4-2. The game was actually pretty close essentially a one-goal game with a garbage empty-netter to close it out. And while this game perhaps shows that Atlanta is just a little better than the Islanders, the Isles do in fact have a brighter future and it’s not just because they will have a better chance at winning the draft lottery.
The Islanders’ future on the island is very much up in the air at the moment as they wait out the passing of the “lighthouse project” that will determine its long-term outlook. But for the moment let’s table that just for the sake of conversation and focus on other aspects of the two teams. What the Islanders have as an advantage over Atlanta is a rich history with great tradition. The Islanders won 4 straight Stanley Cup titles in the 1980s making them one of the premier hockey teams of the time and historically one of the greatest runs for a team in NHL history. While they have never quite reached that level since they have been competitive at times and their fan base is still pretty much intact. All the Islanders need to do is win again and their building will begin to fill up, fans will start having faith in their team again and there will be a buzz again on the island for their beloved hockey team.
Atlanta has an awful hockey history to accompany their mediocre present. The Atlanta Flames were not a viable team and ended up moving to Calgary after losing their fair share of games and money. Now they have a new team who has been mediocre at best in a city that couldn’t care less about hockey and barely supports their NFL team when it’s good. As the economy worsens the fate of the Thrashers in Atlanta is up in the air no matter how many games they win. So despite the score Tuesday night it is Islander fans who have reason to celebrate.