Friday, October 2, 2009

Islanders opening night: On with the show!

Overture, curtain, lights!
This is it. We'll hit the heights!
And oh, what heights we'll hit!
On with the show, this is it!

You know what that's from, don't you? Answer at the end of the post (and if you're over 40 and you don't know, you didn't watch enough television as a child).

A few quick thoughts as we get ready for the Islanders' season opener Saturday night against the visiting Stanley Cup champs, the Penguins.

Doug Weight was named team captain, and it is the absolute right call. A team with so much youth needs a respected veteran as captain, and the players clearly hold Weight in high regard. Good call with Streit, Witt, Park and Okposo getting the 'A.' They all deserve it.

Charles Wang and Tom Suozzi announced the new lease, which will finally allow the Islanders to retain most if not all of the income from games, including ticket sales and concessions. Now they just have to get approval and build the Lighthouse. Piece of cake, right?

It will be refreshing to actually focus on hockey and not meetings and press conferences and politics, and hopefully the Coliseum will have a full house to greet the Pens with ire. And, of course, we'll get to see the NHL debut of John Tavares, who has some expectations to fulfill.

Kyle Okposo should be ready to play in the opener after suffering a mild concussion after being freight-trained by Dion Phaneuf. Here's the thing -- I watched the hit over and over, almost hoping to see something dirty. I didn't.

To anyone who thinks Phaneuf left his feet, his skates left the ice after the hit was made, and that was lucky for Okposo. It means some of the impact was felt by Phaneuf. It's simple physics, people.

Anyway, here's hoping Okposo can play his normal game and get back on the horse. Scoring a goal will help quite a bit in that regard.

In fact, let's see a few goals. Last season, if the opposition scored twice you knew the game was over. When Scott Gordon was hired there was a promise of fast-paced, high-scoring hockey. The pace was there but not the production.

One year later, maybe this mix of young forwards can start making things happen. Or at least make things exciting again.

Answer: It's a verse from the opening theme of The Bugs Bunny Show. You're welcome.

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