New York Islanders: John Tavares’ Return Was Perfect
By Matt O'Leary
The New York Islanders won tonight, which is important, but what added to it was the release it gave the fans who have held in this resentment for so long.
Tonight was perfect. Yes, the New York Islanders played well and won a hockey game but that’s not what this is about. I’ll let Mitch cover that in the post-game article. This is about the Islanders fans.
Just seven short months ago, John Tavares decided to bolt up north after years of proclaiming his love for the Islanders. We all know the story by now, but one thing Islanders fans did in response to the heartbreak was circle February 28th on the Calendar.
Sure, the Islanders would play the Maple Leafs on the road, a game they won 4-0 but it’s not the same as the “home” coming for John Tavares. We’ve known for a while now at Eyes on Isles that we would be attending to produce content.
I want to thank you guys, the readers and podcast listeners for making it possible. We wouldn’t be able to do any of this without you. Meeting all of you guys and putting a face to the names we interact with on here was something that meant a lot to both Mitch and me.
The pregame tailgate was electric, fans were ready to go early and once they made the way into the building it was unbelievable.
The chants of “we don’t need you” echoed throughout the entire arena. From the moment warmups started to the final whistle, Islanders fans brought their A game.
It wasn’t just heckling John Tavares that made the night great. The sellout crowd was into it and positive for their own team as well. Just take a listen for the crowd reaction to Casey Cizikas’ goal that made it a 3-1 game.
Goosebumps. I said it on Twitter and I truly meant it, tonight was the most fun I ever had at an Islanders game. I’ve been to many, including some playoff games with overtime winners, but at the end of the day, this was the most satisfying.
Seven months of pent up anger was released today and the Islanders responded with their best win of the year. February 28, 2019, is a day no Islander fan will soon forget.