Two years ago today the New York Islanders played their final game at the old Barn. It’s a day that brings back happy and sad memories.
We didn’t know it at the time but April 25th 2015 would be the last day the New York Islanders laced up their skates to play a game at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. At the time we were all just happy the team was able to force a Game 7.
I remember a lot about this day, I didn’t go to the game but I was a nervous wreck as I headed into my shift at Play it Again Sports where I worked at the time. All day I talked to customers and staff members about how nervous I was for the game coming off a weak performance in Game 5.
I even got my boss to let me leave early so I could get home in time to watch the game, not to mention I already told him to take me off the schedule for Monday just in case the Islanders forced a Game 7. I was confident but nervous.
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So I went home and watched the game. We know what happens the Isles won and force a Game 7 in Washington. I’ll give you some trivia help while I’m at it Cal Clutterbuck scored the last goal at Nassau Coliseum, go figure.
But as the Islanders saluted the crowd after the win everyone leaving didn’t know whether or not this would be the last time in the building for an Islanders game. It must’ve been a weird feeling.
For me, I already knew that Game 3 of the Capitals series would be the last time I went to the Coliseum to see the Islanders, and for me, I was completely fine with that being my last memory of the Coliseum.
Going out with a John Tavares overtime winner was good enough for me. I made sure to take it all in with one last victory lap around the old crowded concourse.
The Islanders would go on to lose Game 7 as we all know, in heartbreaking fashion. It was a very tough pill to swallow because it was the end of an era.
A building that saw four championship teams, countless huge playoff moments, numerous hall of fame players and some pretty lousy teams too if we’re being honest, was coming to a close.
For me, my initial thoughts went back to my first game and seeing my favorite player Michael Peca play, I thought of endless tailgates with good friends and of course my last memory of John Tavares beating Braden Holtby and the mayhem that ensued.
So here we are two years removed from the Islanders playing a game at the old barn. I’ll leave you with this, the last “Yes! Yes! Yes!” chant from the building.