The 2019-20 New York Islanders are the third-fastest team in franchise history to reach ten wins. They have done so in thirteen games, and nine of those ten wins have come via a lengthy streak dating back to October 12. So why is it Isles fans still seem so sensitive to the innocuous poking of rival fanbases?
Picture this: It’s December 6, 2014, the New York Islanders are 8-2-0 in their last ten games, including a month of November which saw them undefeated in six games on Long Island. I’m sitting in the cheap seats at the Coliseum with my dad.
As the seconds tick off the clock counting down to the period, an announcement flashes through the old barn. Jake Allen is done for the day. Now entering: Martin Brodeur. A slight shiver runs through my spine.
The Blues would tie the game in the second. Then again in the third, before marching to a 6-4 win. No sooner had I slid onto the passenger seat of my dad’s car than the text messages began. My friends, Ranger fans by birth, prodded at me and picked on my poor beloved blue and orange.
I attempted, in earnest, to mount a comeback effort. But like a pack of wolves they descended, leaving me in a brooding mood for the ride home, and feeling foolish for having engaged them.
I’m telling you this story now because Isles Twitter engaged in a firefight with a single Ranger fan yesterday. The spark that ignited the fuse was an obnoxious, but harmless tweet about ticket prices to the Islanders’ Tuesday matchup vs Ottawa. (They’re cheap. If you can get out to Barclays at 7 p.m. on a Tuesday, I’ve seen tickets for under $10.)
Now, I won’t be naming this neanderthal, nor posting any links. I wouldn’t want to fan the flames, or send anyone to his page. But suffice to say his bit was pretty unoriginal, even high school bully-esque. He’s a troll, quite obviously. Jokes ranged from topics like the Islanders moving, to a tweet about 1983, etc. The only thing missing was a Potvin sucks tweet, or knocking the books out of someone’s hands and calling them a dork.
Here’s where I’ll try to straddle the line between being preachy and practical. Just ignore the troll. The guy was clearly trying to get under people’s skin, and it worked. Thoroughly satisfied, he retired the whole thing saying “my work is done”, or something else very fitting of a bumbling villain from a low-budget movie.
If you’re still a little heated about this guy’s tweets, go watch this video. Or just watch it because it’s awesome. But DON’T give people like this the much-valued reactions that this guy bathed himself in today. Or the reaction that I gave my friends all those years ago. Just pull up the standings. If you have NHL.tv go watch a replay of any game from the last nine. Read one of the great pieces going up on this site every day, like this one, this one, or this one.
And – breathe.