Monday, September 16, 2013

My Two Cents: The Islander Narrative

We have a new feature on the Random Musings blog: My Two Cents. This feature is a series of blog posts that will serve as quick reactions to topical sports news. The blog posts will be quick bursts of thought of under 500 words, meant to give you my opinion quickly instead of waiting for the next Sports With The StatMan show. Sometimes, it will be a reaction to a sports column or a reaction to something that happens on or off the field. I hope you enjoy it and feel free to leave a comment after this post to let me know what you think.

The Story: As we are heading into NHL training camp, Kevin Allen of USA Today wrote a nice article about Matt Moulson and the adversity he has faced in his career.  Moulson has become a fixture with the Islanders and has quietly created a tandem with John Tavares to rival the best in the league.  But, he referred to the Islanders as looking for back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since the 1990s, which is not true, and furthers the narrative of the losing on Long Island.

My Two Cents:
I love Kevin Allen.  He writes for more casual fans than any other hockey writer.  But, writing to casual fans who do not pay much attention to details, it can easily further the narrative of a team largely ignored otherwise.  I’m sure this is an oversight, but how did this get through in Kevin's Friday article on Matt Moulson?
Today, Moulson, 29, is a three-time NHL 30-goal scorer and a key player as the Islanders seek back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since the early 1990s.
I know that, as Moulson was quoted in the article, the Islanders do not get a lot of media on the island, but how could anyone fact-checking this article not see that the Islanders made the playoffs three straight years (2001-04)?  It would've taken five seconds.  This is the type of lazy things sportswriters write about the Islanders.  Because it is easy.  Because fact-checking is overrated.  Maybe Kevin is mailing it in from a nice vacation spot right before he works every day for six months.

Yes, we get the point that the Islanders have not had a good run in 20 years, reaching the Semis in 1993.  And, yes, they haven't WON a playoff series in 20 years.  But, it is another log on the fire for Islander fans who have seen their team dragged through the mud, sometimes unnecessarily and you can tell it is a sensitive subject.

The Isles have given plenty of fodder for naysayers and critics for 20 years and most of the time it has been warranted.  But, inaccuracies help further the narrative of the "hapless" New York Islanders.

Good thing the Islanders are turning this around in the right way for long-term success.  Good thing they are moving to Brooklyn soon so they will get more media coverage.  We can finally put this tired narrative to bed and the media may start to pay a little more attention to the team on the ice.

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