With the Islanders' arena situation in flux again, there's a natural inclination to worry that it could become a distraction for a team that is currently enjoying a seven-game point streak and is sitting just three points out of a playoff spot.
Not to worry, both their head coach and captain told reporters before Tuesday night's game.
"It doesn't affect us," Doug Weight said just before he saw his team improve to 5-0-1 under his leadership. "Those things are going to occur in any situation. It really has no bearing on what we have to do. As far as I'm concerned, it'll take care of itself."
John Tavares agreed.
"I'm just going to try to get ready for every game," Tavares said, as he echoed Weight's sentiment. "I've got enough to worry about just trying to focus on playing and making the playoffs. I think all that stuff will take care of itself."
I know the Canadian media is already clamoring about how Tavares "deserves better" than this, and I would advise Isles fans to just tune that out.
What everyone involved in this organization deserves is a long-term solutions that puts the franchise in the best position to be viable for generations to come. Tavares is included in that, and that seems to be exactly the thing ownership is exploring. And if you think ownership won't loop JT into the inner workings of this when they sit down on July 1, you should think again.
The fact is that this team has too much to worry about the rest of the way for this to even enter into their minds. Yes, they're human beings, and the guys who have long-term deals obviously need to know what the situation is so they know what to expect for the life of their contract, but that's something to focus on in the summer.
For now, it's just about the next game, all of which are going to come fast and furious the rest of the way. The only thing the guys on the ice can control is whether or not they can run down a Wild Card spot, and that's what they're focused on. The rest, for now, is just noise.