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!
The New York Islanders begin their 2014-15 season tonight against their Metropolitan Division rival, Carolina Hurricanes, in the first of a back to back home-and-home. Tonight’s contest ends the 6 month slumber for Islander fans and begins the 43rd, and final, season of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. But tonight isn’t about that. Tonight is about the present and the commencement of New York Islanders quest for a 5th Stanley Cup Championship.
We all knew it was coming, but that doesn’t make the parting any easier. The Hawks finally got under the salary cap ceiling by dealing defenseman Nick Leddy and goaltender Kent Simpson to the New York Islanders in exchange for prospects TJ Brennan, Ville Pokka, and the rights to goalie Anders Nilsson. The trade helped out both teams, as it successfully gave the Hawks some cap room while helping New York upgrade their blue line, but who really won this deal?
It appeared that this rainy Saturday would be nothing but a dreary day on Long Island with every resident hoping for a few rays of sunshine to brighten up the day. Well, the sun may not have appeared from behind the clouds, but things are certainly shining bright after the New York Islanders made some bold trades that have drastically improved their roster.
The New York Islanders have acquired defenseman Johnny Boychuk from the Boston Bruins and Nick Leddy from the Chicago Blackhawks.
If you were betting on the Blackhawks sweeping the Western Conference Finals, that's a bet that was definitely lost tonight, as Chicago had their first loss on home ice in the playoffs so far.
The Blackhawks owned possession for most of the first, but the Kings were dedicating themselves to defense and commanding face offs. It was a steady parade to the box for both teams throughout the first: the Kings took four, and the Blackhawks two. Nick Leddy got Chicago on the board first, a power play goal 14:16 into the game, off a feed from Duncan Keith.
Just after Drew Doughty's late-first-period penalty expired in the second, Ben Smith made it 2-0 for the Blackhawks 1:40 in...
The Blues may be atop the Central Division at the moment, but it was their rivals the Hawks that walked away with a victory on Wednesday night at the UC. Corey Crawford woud make 23 saves as the Hawks defeated the league-leading Blues in a 4-0 victory, their first division regulation-loss in the entire season.
The game was fast and physical from start to finish, and it was the Hawks who would get on the board first with a power play blast from...
The Hawks continued a disturbing trend of taking games to OT and not being able to collect the extra point as they fell to the Calgary Flames in overtime to kick off a 6-game road trip. Both starting goalies were pulled as the points racked up, but the Flames would ultimately emerge victorious as the Hawks dropped their fourth game in a row.
The Flames would get on the board early with a backhan...
The Hawks looked to keep rolling as they travelled to Nashville to face off against the Predators and former Hawks Carter Hutton and Viktor Stalberg. The last time the Hawks played in the Nashville rink this season, they were thoroughly beaten 7-2, but tonight walked away with a 3-1 win. Bryan Bickell made his return after missing roughly a month with a lower body injury, while Antti Raanta made 27 saves and Patrick Kane scored his team-leading 20th goal in the victory.
The Hawks got on the board early with a wicked shot by Duncan K...
The Chicago Blackhawks pepperd Kari Lehtonen with 50 shots on goal, and rallied in the second period from a 3-0 deficit to tie the game, but it wasn't enough as the Stars took home a 4-3 victory in Chicago's first home game back from the Circus Trip. Lehtonen was outstanding, stopping 47 shots on goal in his 400th NHL game.
The first 10 minutes of the first period were fairly back and forth, with good chances by both the Hawks and the Stars. Dallas took c...