New York Islanders Barclays Ice Conditions Isn’t Worst
Bad ice is everywhere in the NHL, so can New York Islanders fans stop hearing that the Barclays is the worst now? Probably not. But educating the masses is the first step.
Earlier today a team ESPN hockey writers, including Craig Custance put out an article where a number of voices from around the league (players, a coach, and executives) speak about the quality of the ice in the NHL. Surprisingly, the New York Islanders Barclays Center is not mentioned once. Not once.
Through the words of ten current NHL players, four arenas are brought up a number of times: L.A.’s Staples Center, Chicago’s United Center, and Madison Square Garden, home of the Rangers.
Rather surprisingly, Carolina’s PNC Center only got a single mention. Even though the only game to be canceled in recent memory due to poor ice quality was at the Hurricanes arena this December.
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Big Market Bias
The other three (Staple Center, MSG and the United Center) are far from headlines fodder like the Barclays Center has the privilege of being when it comes to ice quality.
Maybe its because they have the advantage of being in much larger markets. It’s easier to pick on the little kid in the schoolyard. I get it.
But just look at the recent headline when the Leafs were in Brooklyn: “Preview: Leafs to Face Islanders in Slush Bowl”. Just judging by this admittedly small sample size of NHL players, Barclays is certainly not the worst.
It certainly isn’t the best either. The building wasn’t designed to house a game played on ice after all.
But the big takeaway from this piece isn’t to point out what ice is the worst, but trying to find out what ice is any good. Would anyone have thought that the Air Canada Center at the center of the hockey universe in Toronto had bad ice? James Van Riemsdyk of the Maple Leafs kiboshes that assumption:
"It’s been awful. I don’t know what it is. Even in our building this year. I thought it was really good [when we came] back for World Cup and right after that for the first little bit. But the last little bit, it’s been so bad. The puck’s all over the place…"
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There isn’t a single arena in the NHL that has good ice condition. Except for the PP&G Center in Pittsburgh. Thanks to constant nagging by Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby. Maybe the Isles need an optic of John Tavares at ice level with Barclays people to stop hearing these incendiary, and incredibly false headlines were accustomed to seeing. Or would that just make it worse?