As a New York Islanders Season Ticket Holder, the Nassau Coliseum is my second home. After catching around only eight games this season, I was always preparing myself for my last visit.
On May 8, 2021, the Islanders took the ice at Nassau Coliseum for the final time before the post-season. They will start their run for the Stanley Cup today against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
During the first period, the Coliseum was loud even with reduced capacity. Everyone was chanting “Let’s Go Islanders”. Late in the first, Jordan Eberle put one past New Jersey Devils goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood to get the Islanders up 1-0. The first goal of the game completely erupted the Coliseum.
The Islanders came out of the locker room hungry for more. The vibe of the final game at the Coliseum seemed to give the guys a push. The Blue and Orange Army continued to lead chants and get the crowd going.
During the second period, Brock Nelson scored two goals after the Devils tied the game at one. The Islanders leading the game 3-1 going into the third period was crucial for a bounce-back game after losing three straight.
I will never forget the third period of this game. The Islanders scored two more goals which pushed them up 5-1. Fans continued to show their passion and as time dwindled down, emotions took over the crowd.
While sitting in my seats, I saw a lot of fans taking in the final moments at the Coliseum with family and friends. As the period closed out, tears fell down fans’ faces, people were reiterating their memories at the Coliseum and discussing the history that took place.
The goal horn sounded, the Islanders win song was playing and the players gathered onto center ice to give the fans one final salute. At this moment, I felt that it hit every fan that we were really here one last time.
The stars of the game were announced and the fans collected themselves to give a standing ovation to those players. Brock Nelson was named the first star of the game and headed off the ice which would then usually follow with fans exiting the arena. Instead, Islanders fans loitered and snapped some final pictures of the banners, ice, and crowd.
Nassau Coliseum, home of the one and only four-straight Stanley Cup dynasty, will send off the Islanders to UBS Arena after this season. The final moments of the Coliseum in regular-season mode was a bittersweet experience that will stick with me forever.