New York Islanders: What I'm thankful for
Gary A. Vasquez, USATSI

Elite Sports NY editor Justin Weiss explains why he’s thankful for the New York Islanders.

It’s been a rough start to the 2016-17 campaign.

However, a wise fellow once said, “It doesn’t matter if the glass is half empty or half full… Be grateful that you have a glass, and there is something in it.”

There’s no better time to reflect on that principal than the present, on Thanksgiving Day. Between the bickering and ranting, take a couple of seconds to look at the larger picture.

That’s what I did:

I’m thankful for John Tavares

This spring, as fans moaned about the Islanders’ Game Four loss to the Florida Panthers, I asked a random stranger an earnest question: will I live to see my team win a playoff series?

Thanks to Tavares, my prayers were answered. The captain netted two colossal goals in Game Six — one in the final minute of regulation and the other in overtime — to lift the franchise to its first second-round birth in nearly two-and-a-half decades.

There’s still a feeling of pandemonium every time I replay the spectacle.

I’m thankful for the players

They’re underachievers, but something else, too: awesome people.

It’s exhibited when Travis Hamonic mentors despondent children, when the team skates with visually impaired kids, when Anders Lee encourages a bunch of students never to give up.

“That’s awesome,” SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman wrote about the team’s outreach. I agree.

I’m thankful for the memories

Unfortunately, I haven’t witnessed a banner raising.

But I have seen my fair share of awesome moments. I remember listening to Wade Dubielewicz‘s famous poke check on the radio. I recall Frans Nielsen‘s nifty shootout moves. I appreciate attending ten games a season at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Some memories never fade.

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