An independent blog on the New York Islanders, the NHL and AHL by a guy from New York.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Islanders Lose First In Brooklyn

Per, "Though the first NHL game played at Barclays Center in Brooklyn was not an Islanders victory, it was an experience the players involved will never forget. A near-sellout crowd of 14,689 watched the New Jersey Devils defeat the Islanders 3-0, but an electric atmosphere could be felt from the first note of the national anthem all the way through the final horn."

The 14,689 on hand brought great energy and fan fare to the event. It was an epic thing to see, even on Twitter.  Fans stormed the LIRR to make their way to the Barclays Center to be a part of Islanders history.  The first time the Isles were to play an opponent in their soon to be Brooklyn home.  And even though it was the only another preseason game against the rival Devils, the atmosphere was more playoff like.  Fans had been waiting for this ever since last years version of the very same match up was cancelled when the NHL owners locked out the NHLPA and its players and cancelled part of last season.  So lets just say, everyone was excited and feeling the moment.

Forwards: Moulson-Tavares-Bouchard, Bailey-Nielsen-Okposo, Martin-Cizikas-McDonald, Boulton-Sundstrom-Johnson.

Defensive Pairings: MacDonald-Donovan, Strait-Hamonic, Reinhart-Visnovsky.

Per Arthur Staple, "Okposo and MacDonald are wearing the 'A's tonight."

Goaltending: Nabokov is starting, while Milner is backing up in the game.


Unfortunately for the Isles and their fans, although the team came out energized and applying pressure, they were not offensively dialed in, or defensively responsible.  The PP needs Visnovsky to step up and be a leader, but he never fully emerged as one. Their team defense was playing way too loose and made it difficult to defend in their own zone.  Evgeni Nabokov shared in some of the culpability.  His positioning and unsettled play in his own crease allowed a few "suspect" shots to get in behind him. 

It also didn't help that Corey Schneider put on a goaltending clinic and played a great game.  During their soft PP chances & offensive breaks, the Isles didn't seem to bother, screen or bump Schneider at all, allowing him to remain comfortable and focused.  Johnson and Hamonic dropped the gloves late in the third period, but by then it was too late.  Kyle Okposo had taken a stick to the eye that was good enough for a 4:00 minor, but no penalty was called for the loose stick work. 


The Isles fell to the New Jersey Devils by the score on 3-0 in their first game at the Barclays Center.  The crowd started to get restless as things got away from the Islanders, even with a smattering of boo birds showing their displeasure.  It seemed that the significance of the obstructed views and tight upper concourse began to amplify under the frustration of a spoiled opening night mood.  Some fans even started making more of an issue out of the longer train rides into Brooklyn and saying that at least the Coliseum was built for hockey.


I love the Coliseum too.  I was frustrated about the outcome of last nights game as well.  Hearing at least one goal horn, and feeling the crowd explode in celebration would have been nice.  But the Islanders lost another pre season game.  It was just one game and would hope they have already worked on the defensive short comings and soft PP styles employed last night.  Its time for Coaches to coach and leaders to step up and lead.  As one Whalers fan put it, Isles fans should stop complaining about the longer trip to games and how the teams owner operates, the last time it happened to him, his owner sent his team to North Carolina.  Perspective.

Stop the hate and give em' a real chance to work through things.  Be realistic and we will get through what 'can be' the final few moments of the rebuild to greatness.



Isles will play in Nashville tonight @6pm and home vs. the Preds @7pm on Thursday, 9/27.


Isles Notes:

Per Brian Compton, "The vibe I got tonight is that Griffin Reinhart starts the season with Isles. Have 9 games to make a decision."

Per Chris Botta, "Getting expected texts about lots of obstructed views in upper concourse and corners at Barclays. Hopefully better in 2 years."

Help make Back for More @NYIslanders Anthem!!  … … … … … … … … #Isles #believe #STRONGisland @FFDP

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