The New York Islanders Want To Call Long Island Home Once Again

islanders

Saturday, April 11th, 2015 was a sad day. This marked the last regular season home-game the New York Islanders played at Nassau Coliseum (a 5-4 shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets). The Islanders made the playoffs that season, so the last official game at Nassau Coliseum was on Saturday, April 25th, 2015 (a 3-1 win in Game 6 against the Washington Capitals). The Islanders called the Coliseum home since 1972, their first game being played on October 7th, 1972 (a 3-2 loss to the Atlanta Flames). The Islanders put themselves on the map in the 1980’s winning 4 consecutive Stanley Cup Championships (1980-1983). They represented Long Island for 43 seasons, being the only major sports team to call Long Island home. Following the 2015 season, the Islanders packed their bags, sat in 3 and a half hours of traffic (to go 28 miles), and relocated to Brooklyn (where they now call Barclays Center home). Well Islanders fans, they might be returning home!

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman revealed on Friday that the Islanders are preparing a bid for a new arena at Belmont Park’s racetrack site. This makes me very happy. Since the Islanders moved to Brooklyn I haven’t attended a game. It wasn’t out of protest, rather it is highly inconvenient to travel to Brooklyn from Long Island. If you’ve ever travelled in or around Long Island or New York City during rush hour traffic you know what I’m talking about. And I live smack dab in the middle of Nassau County. I can only imagine the anger and amount of broken TV remotes there were from Islanders fans who reside in Suffolk County. The Islanders returning to Long Island would be great for the community, the economy, but most of all the mental state of Islanders fans. On the logistical side of things, Barclays Center and the Islanders are staring down a January 2018 deadline to renegotiate the terms of their 25-year lease. It’ll be a step in the right direction if the Islanders are able to opt-out of their commitment at Barclays Center. For now, we wait optimistically.

In other New York hockey news, the New York Rangers advanced to the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs after defeating the Montreal Canadiens in 6 games. I’d say congratulations, but naaaaa.

Are you excited about the possibility of the Islanders returning to Long Island? Tell me how you feel in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

NHL Playoff 1st Round Predictions (better late than never)

I think I’m coming down with a fever, and no I’m not sick. I have that playoff hockey fever thats going around. After a lockout shortened season, the playoffs have finally arrived, and I for one am excited. If you want to gear up for the NHL playoffs too, you are going to need to know when the games are. Here is a quick look at the schedule:

First Round

WESTERN CONFERENCE

1 Chicago BLACKHAWKS
8 Minnesota WILD

Game 1: at CHI, Tue., April 30, 8 p.m., NBCSN, CBC
Game 2: at CHI, Fri., May 3, 9:30 p.m., NBCSN, CBC
Game 3: at MIN, Sun., May 5, 3 p.m., NBC, CBC
Game 4: at MIN, Tue., May 7, 9:30 p.m., NBCSN, CBC
Game 5: at CHI, Thu., May 9, TBD, CBC*
Game 6: at MIN, Sat., May 11, TBD, CBC*
Game 7: at CHI, Sun., May 12, TBD, CBC*

2 Anaheim DUCKS
7 Detroit RED WINGS

Game 1: at ANA, Tue., April 30, 10:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 2: at ANA, Thu., May 2, 10 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 3: at DET, Sat., May 4, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 4: at DET, Mon., May 6, 8 p.m., CNBC, TSN
Game 5: at ANA, Wed., May 8, 10 p.m., TSN*
Game 6: at DET, Fri., May 10 TBD, TSN*
Game 7: at ANA, Sun., May 12, TBD, TSN*

3 Vancouver CANUCKS
6 San Jose SHARKS

Game 1: at VAN, Wed., May 1, 10:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 2: at VAN, Fri., May 3, 10 p.m., CNBC, TSN
Game 3: at SJ, Sun., May 5, 10 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 4: at SJ, Tue., May 7, 10 p.m., CNBC, TSN
Game 5: at VAN, Thu., May 9, 10 p.m., TSN*
Game 6: at SJ, Sat., May 11, TBD, TSN*
Game 7: at VAN, Mon., May 13, TBD, TSN*

4 Saint Louis BLUES
5 Los Angeles KINGS

Game 1: at STL, Tue., April 30, 8 p.m., CNBC, CBC
Game 2: at STL, Thu., May 2, 9:30 p.m., CNBC, CBC
Game 3: at LA, Sat., May 4, 10 p.m., NBCSN, CBC
Game 4: at LA, Mon., May 6, 10 p.m., NBCSN, CBC
Game 5: at STL, Wed., May 8, TBD, CBC*
Game 6: at LA, Fri., May 10, TBD, CBC*
Game 7: at STL, Mon., May 13, TBD, CBC*

EASTERN CONFERENCE

1 Pittsburgh PENGUINS
8 New York ISLANDERS

Game 1: at PIT, Wed., May 1, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 2: at PIT, Fri., May 3, 7 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 3: at NY, Sun., May 5, 12 p.m., NBC, TSN
Game 4: at NY, Tue., May 7, 7 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 5: at PIT, Thu., May 9, 7 p.m., TSN*
Game 6: at NY, Sat., May 11, TBD, TSN*
Game 7: at PIT, Sun., May 12, TBD, TSN*

2 Montreal CANADIENS
7 Ottawa SENATORS

Game 1: at MON, Thu., May 2, 7 p.m., CNBC, CBC, RDS
Game 2: at MON, Fri., May 3, 7 p.m., CNBC. CBC, RDS
Game 3: at OTT, Sun., May 5, 7 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, RDS
Game 4: at OTT, Tue., May 7, 7 p.m., CNBC, CBC, RDS
Game 5: at MON, Thu., May 9, 7 p.m., CBC, RDS*
Game 6: at OTT, Sat., May 11, TBD, CBC, RDS*
Game 7: at MON, Sun., May 12, TBD, CBC, RDS*

3 Washington CAPITALS
6 New York RANGERS

Game 1: at WAS, Thu., May 2, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 2: at WAS, Sat., May 4, 12:30 p.m., NBC, TSN
Game 3: at NY, Mon., May 6, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 4: at NY, Wed., May 8, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN
Game 5: at WAS, Fri., May 10, 7:30 p.m., TSN*
Game 6: at NY, Sun., May 12, TBD, TSN*
Game 7: at WAS, Mon., May 13, TBD, TSN*

4 Boston BRUINS
5 Toronto MAPLE LEAFS

Game 1: at BOS, Wed., May 1, 7 p.m., CNBC, CBC, RDS
Game 2: at BOS, Sat., May 4, 7 p.m., CNBC, CBC, RDS
Game 3: at TOR, Mon., May 6, 7 p.m., NHLN, CBC, RDS
Game 4: at TOR, Wed., May 8, 7 p.m., NHLN, CBC, RDS
Game 5: at BOS, Fri., May 10, 7 p.m. CBC, RDS*
Game 6: at TOR, Sun., May 12, CBC, RDS*
Game 7: at BOS, Mon., May 13, CBC, RDS*

*If Necessary

Now that you know the schedule and the matchups, let’s breakdown each series and predict the winners. I’m going to start in the Western Conference. Why the Chicago Blackhawks are in the Western Conference I’ll never know, but they are, and they are clearly the best team in the NHL. You might remember them from their record breaking “winning” streak earlier in the season. They will handle the Minnesota Wild without a hiccup in the first round (4-0). As for the Anaheim Ducks vs. the Detroit Red Wings, I think we are going to hop in my time machine and go back about 10 years (ya know when the Red Wings were the best hockey team in the world). I see the Red Wings defense stifling the Ducks and winning a highly competitive series in 7 games. On we move to the Vancouver Canucks vs. the San Jose Sharks. This series is going to be a low scoring defensive affair. San Jose has the better defense, and they won the regular season series with the Canucks 3 games to none. Look for San Jose to continue their success and win this series in 6 games. Ah yes, the oh so difficult to predict 4 vs. 5 matchup. This year in the West we have the St. Louis Blues taking on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings. The kings swept the regular season series against the Blues(3-0). I think that the Kings will carry the momentum of their solid play late in the season to advance to the 2nd round. It should take 6 games for the Kings to oust the Blues.

Let’s take a road trip back to the East coast and take a look at the Eastern Conference matchups. The first look we will take is at the top seeded Pittsburgh Penguins vs. the 8th seeded New York Islanders. Now I am an Islander fan, but even I can be objective; sometimes. The only way the Islanders remotely have a chance to win this series is if Sidney Crosby doesn’t play, and they beat up half of the Penguins starting line. Otherwise, they have little to no chance of advancing. I do believe that Sid the Kid is going to sit this round out, however it won’t be enough for the Islanders to move on. While the world will learn just how talented John Taveres is this week, he won’t be able to take the Penguinos down singlehandedly. Look for my Islanders to hang tough and lose this series in 6 HARD FOUGHT games. Lets Go Islanders!! (objectivity shmobjectivity). The second seeded Montrael Canadiens should handle the anemic offense of the Ottawa Senators in 5 games. Don’t look for any miracles in that series. I know I know, you want to see some upsets in the East too. Don’t worry they’re coming up right now. Let me preface this next series preview by saying that I strongly dislike the New York Rangers. However, they will take down the Washington Capitals in 6 games. You heard it here first. Lastly, the 4 vs. 5 matchup in the East should be equally as exciting as the 4/5 matchup in the West. All I have to say is, “Boston Strong Baby!” The Boston Bruins will do away with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 7 tough games.

Check back for 2nd round previews and predictions. Enjoy the NHL playoffs everyone!!

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

How Bout ‘Dem Islanders

Tuesday was a great night for New York hockey.  The New York Islanders defeated the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 6-3, while the New York Rangers took down the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2.  With the win by the Rangers, they have slipped into the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.  The win by the Islanders brings them within 2 points of that same playoff spot.  As for the Rangers game, they jumped out to a very early lead scoring a goal in the first minute and a half.  The flyers bounced back with 2 goals of their own, but before the end of the 1st period the score was tied 2-2.  After a scoreless 2nd period, Rick Nash scored both of his goals in the 3rd period to seal the victory.  Henrik Lundqvist played a nice game saving 23 of 25 total shots on goal.  The stars of the game for the Rangers were Rick Nash and Ryan Callahan.  Nash finished the game with 2 goals as Callahan added 2 goals and an assist.  I feel that the Rangers are definitely going to make the playoffs this season.  They are too talented of a hockey team to be watching the playoffs from the coach.

Now the Islanders had a tough match-up last night against the 1st place Montreal Canadiens.  It was a quiet 1st period where the Canadiens came away with one goal.  On the other hand, the 2nd and 3rd periods saw a bit more action.  In the 2nd period the Islanders scored 3 straight goals in a span of 11 minutes.  The Canadiens answered back with one goal to bring the score to 3-2 (Islanders) at the end of the 2nd period.  When the Canadiens tied the game at 3 I started thinking, oh no here come the Islanders I’ve grown accustom to.  But I must admit I was wrong.  Maybe this team of young talent is showing us, right in front of our eyes, the potential this franchise will have for years to come.  The Islanders stormed back and scored 3 unanswered goals and won the game 6-3.  I really want to believe in my heart that they are going to make the playoffs too, but if I’m going to put them in the playoffs I would have to take someone else out.  Out of the teams that are currently in the playoff picture in the East, I could see the Islanders catching the New Jersey Devils.  The Devils have lost 6 games in a row and 8 of their last 9, and I don’t see a sign of them turning their season around anytime soon.  They have a lot of games left against the top teams in the Eastern Conference and the way they look right now, they can’t beat anybody.  The final game of the season at the Rangers could prove to be the difference in their (the Devils) season (way to go NHL with your scheduling skills!!).

Can’t wait to catch the Rangers and Islanders in action for their next game?  Well, you won’t have to wait long, and you’ll be able to find them in the same place.  The Rangers come to Nassau Coliseum this Thursday night at 7:00 P.M to take on the Islanders.  Let the rivalry continue.  The season is hitting its stride, and I think this game will live up to its expectations.  I like the Islanders to win in an overtime thriller 5-4.

 

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well.  Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.  Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!