I didn’t know who Johnette Howard was before 9:45 P.M. Sunday night, but I won’ forget her name anytime soon. You see, some people think Newsday gos out of it’s way to write â€œfluffyâ€ pieces on the Islanders. Pieces that make them look better than a team that in all honesty, isn’t enjoying the same amount of success they have been in years past.
I don’t think anyone will ever think that way ever again after this piece.
In the piece in question [you can read it here http://www.newsday.com/sports/hockey/islanders/ny-sphow055870698oct05,0,5909873.column], Howard writes a overly-scathing column about how bad things are on the Island right now, using the type of language I’d expect in a conversation between two hockey fans and not a seasoned writer.
The Isles’ new young coach, Scott Gordon, was a winner with Providence of the AHL and is actually installing an aggressive system his players have been raving about. And that could be fun to watch. Gordon could be a bright up-and-comer, same as Peter Laviolette was here once upon a time.
You remember Laviolette. Got let go. Won the Stanley Cup at his next job with Carolina.
Was that you screaming as if a toaster just fell in the bathtub, or am I hearing things?
The last line there is simply overkill. Even in a column. It sounds like a Ranger fan who finally got an opportunity to write a column about how much she hates the Islanders. Not what I expected to read on a Newspaper’s website.
I could deal with that though, mainly because it is a column and everyone does things their own way when they have creative car blanche. However, Howard seems to enjoy taking her readers to the limit and continues to bash the team even more as she goes on. As the piece goes on however, she begins to lose her luster and it really hurts her credibility.
Check these out:
Rooting for the Isles now puts you in the same company as those hardy Pittsburgh Pirates fans, who will be back to pull for their club next season as the Pirates go for a big league-record 17 straight losing seasons, or those long-suffering Cubbie diehards who were back on the ledge after just one game – one game! – of their Division Series against the Dodgers.
Wow, this is way too an over-exaggeration here. For the record, in their history, the Islanders have had 15 losing seasons and no more than seven in a row. This is extremely bad reporting here and way too sensational to be taken even remotely seriously. I know that most columnists like to annoy readers where they write pieces like this, but they do it with a knowledge and a tact that their readers can and will never have. Reading this part of the piece makes it obvious that Howard lacks these abilities as well.
The Isles’ best young player, Kyle Okposo, projects as a serviceable player but not a huge star.
Anyone that would say that Kyle Okposo only projects to be a serviceable player in this league is out of their mind and should not be allowed to write hockey. Guys like Richard Park, Blair Betts and Mike Rupp are serviceable players. Okposo is going to be a bona fide 20-goal scorer int his league and with some help, can be even better. Will he be a star? Probably not, but serviceable is way too low an estimation for someone this talented. Anyone that has spoken to people who have seen him play [check out the scouting report I wrote a few months back with Ross Bernstein] or with a knowledge of the sport should know better than this.
To players and agents, the Islanders have become an NHL stop of the last resort. The sharpest proof lately was how Ryan Smyth, a character player the Isles gave up a gaggle of players for and hoped to build around, couldn’t get out fast enough after coming here for an 18-game cameo during the season.
OK, I can deal with the last resort comment, but Howard again fails to make a strong point and instead tries to piss the reader off with snare. First off, Smyth left the Islanders because he wanted to play with Joe Sakic. Any knowledgeable fan knows this, so why does Howard fail to mention this? Because she’s either not in the know, or she chooses to avoid the truth for the purpose of getting her point across. As the Sports Editor of a bi-weekly, I can tell you that this paragraph is a disaster. Even a column has to be fact-checked or tightened and this piece is living proof. On another note, what in the hell is a gaggle? Why not just say Robert Nilsson and Ryan O’Marra? It makes me wonder if Howard even knows who these players are.
Also, why not mention that Nilsson is going to be the serviceable player O’Marra is coming off the worst season of his career? Hmmm, maybe because Howard has no idea what she’s talking about and is instead regurgitating every thing she’s read on Yahoo Sports on the team over the past year.
Newsday, what were you thinking? This is something that I could have read on BleacherReport.com or something. You guys are so much better than this. Katie Strang and Greg Logan do a great job of covering the Islanders. Keep them busy instead of forcing your readers to this kind of nonsense.
Posted under Offseason 2008
This post was written by Patrick Hickey, Jr. on October 6, 2008