What New York Islanders Fans are Thankful For
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. As fans of the New York Islanders we have much to be thankful for in the early season. Here are my top five:
5) The Move.
Yes, the Islanders are leaving the only place they have ever called home at the end of this season, but a move to Brooklyn is far more preferable than some of the rumors of moves to Kansas City or Quebec. The Isles are headed to the Barclays Center, a vastly superior building to the Coliseum, the Old Barn has a certain charm, but the Barclays is the state of the art facility the franchise has needed for decades.
The team may be Brooklyn bound, but they are still just a train ride away, for that we should be very thankful.
4) The Emerging Stars.
I’m looking at you Brock Nelson and Ryan Strome. The Isles young third line anchors have brought their game to a new level this season, giving the team a balanced attack. Both have been major contributors to the team’s success and look to be for a long time to come.
3) The Louder Coliseum.
Despite the criticism of a former NFL quarterback, and Ranger fan, on his daily morning show (for great commentary on that criticism, read this), the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum has had an atmosphere inside of it this season which I have never experienced. Night in and night out the place has a buzz and that makes it a special place to go, on any night of the week. There are many factors as to why the Coli has been so intense this season, but the main reason is the performance on the ice of the hockey team.
2) The New Guys.
Garth Snow made a major overhaul this offseason, and it has paid big time dividends. The acquisitions of Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolay Kulemin, Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Chad Johnson and Jaroslav Halak have completely changed the complexion of this team. All of these new faces are playing pivotal roles for the club and have provided depth that the team has not had in years. Boychuk and Leddy have transformed the defense, Kulemin and Grabovski have added consistent two way play to the forward ranks and Halak, after a bit of a rough start, has become the rock between the pipes that the Isles faithful hoped he would be.
1) The Captain.
For all of these things we can be thankful, but we all can agree that John Tavares is the most important piece of the Islanders franchise. Tavares is far and away the Islanders best player and at 24 years old he looks to still be improving. His stats may not be the best they’ve ever been, but JT shows up when he’s needed, as evidenced by yesterday’s overtime winner. This team may be moving, and they may have brought in a truckload of new talent to help, but this is Tavares’ team, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
Thank You to all of you who took the time to read this, or any, post on Eyes on Isles. I speak for the entire staff when I say that we are truly thankful that you do.
Have a happy, and safe, holiday.
Let’s Go Islanders.