As the “Lets Go Islanders” chants rained down from the Madison Square Garden rafters, while the horn sounded on an entertaining game, the Rangers’ Ryan Malone showed the only fight the Rangers could muster in the 3rd period by giving a couple of cheap shots to Brian Strait. Too little too late, as the Islanders took the first matchup of the season against their rivals in an impressive 6-3 victory.
2 Down, 80 more to go, and another 16 W's after that! This past weekend has seen a whirlwind of emotions carry from Raleigh to Long Island, like... well, a hurricane. The Isles have gotten themselves off to a 2-0 start, their best in a decade, but now the real challenge begins. Can the team carry the momentum from the final home opener into the next few weeks?
After a long summer it was time for Islanders fans to dust off their jerseys, and come out to support there team one last time at the old barn. My brother and fellow blogger Andrew and I were fortunate enough to nab tickets over the summer and attend this weekend.
The atmosphere inside of the Coliseum was truly something else. As for outside, the fans did not disappoint. As a fan that typically loves to be early for and Islanders games, I was blown back by the amount of tailgaters and early-comers at the arena. I mean let's face it. This was the last home opener at the old barn, so that was expected. But what made this day even better, was the play of the team which I believe is inspiring this fan base to continuing looking towards the future, but even more importantly, THE NOW!
Entering Nassau Coliseum tonight was very different than every other season; there was a vibe circulating around the concourse that was unlike the previous years. Tonight’s home opener marked the beginning of the end for the 43-year old Nassau Coliseum, the only building that the Islanders have ever called home.
The game opened up with a raucous crowd welcoming back the orange and blue to the ice. Unlike previous years, the Islanders came out all at once and stood around the logo at center ice as opposed to one by one, signifying that this year is all about the team and what it has meant to Long Island since 1972.
The New York Islanders were able to pull arguably the biggest steal in the 2014 NHL Draft. They took Joshua Ho-Sang with the 28th overall pick. His talent is heralded and lauded unanimously throughout the ranks of hockey scouts but the jury is still out on ‘character’ issues.(Credit: Flickr/5of7)
Most teams decided that the inevitable headache waiting with his brash nature far outweighed his skill level.
For the Islanders, this was the perfect pick. A damaged draft stock with a player that felt beyond offended that he was passed up on created an immediate bond between a rejected franchise and rejected prospect.
This perceived disrespect from other teams will create a love for the Islanders logo on his jersey. Reason being, they were the only ones that gave him a chance.
The New York Islanders have been sold by current owner Charles Wang to an investment group led by former Washington Capitals co-owner, Jon Ledecky and investor Scott Malkin. Ledecky and Malkin have only purchased a minority stake of the team, leaving Wang in charge for the next two years.
Once the next two years pass, Ledecky and Malkin will become the full owners of the New York Islanders (Photo credit: Official New York Islanders/Flickr).