New York Islanders playoff series win against the Panthers makes this John Tavares’ time and Barclays Center is his house.
The Coliseum versus Barclays Center debate is one that will probably rage for as long as the New York Islanders inhabit their new building. It’s all been laid out – the bad sight lines, poor ice, the off-center scoreboard, the car where seats should be (though seriously, don’t mess with YeSUV), the lack of hockey knowledge with the staff – but let’s face it, they could build something new and beautiful just for hockey from the ground up and it still wouldn’t make the Coliseum contingent happy.
This building is always going to be a work in progress but it’s home, like it or not. What people don’t seem to truly understand, is for all this building lacks for the hockey-watching fan, it offers the guys playing the game for them much, much more.
The convenience of Uniondale isn’t there but more than likely commuting to work is a burden of a majority of NHL players. There are amenities now and the building is a more respectable place for other teams to visit. No one likes to hear that – or even admit it – but it’s something the majority of the Isles fandom will have to get over.
There have been critics outside of the fan faithful that hate the building. It’s mostly about the atmosphere and throughout the season, it’s been pretty sad. It’s had its moments of being full and loud through the season but generally only when the Rangers visit. Game Six against the Panthers, though – Game Six showed what it could be and the team showed what it could be within that and it was nothing short of miraculous.
It’s been said and written how John Tavares and the Islanders exorcised the ghosts of failure with their round one win against the Panthers, but it was more than that. Tavares has been everything and more in just these few games that have changed the narrative for the Islanders.
The Islanders are always going to parade their legends. Bossy, Gilles, and Nystrom are a part of the crest. And in some way, it’s been a necessary method to keep fans holding onto something in the years between Pierre Turgeon and Tavares when things were most hopeless. With the Barclays Center, this team – these men – have the chance to step from the shadows of these legends and create something that is theirs.
History is necessary, but so is a future, and that’s what this team has in Brooklyn. The Islanders, but more-so John Tavares, baptized the Barclays with those goals and that victory. It’s Tavares’s house now and there shouldn’t be any reason other than that to bring the building alive every game.