Islanders: Mathew Barzal Describes Crowd On Long Island
By Matt O'Leary
Nassau Coliseum was the ultimate home-ice advantage for the New York Islanders. In the modern NHL, not many barns are built the way the Coliseum was so when the crowd got going it was loud, and it was unique.
Mathew Barzal was back in New York for the US Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium, which is just 11 miles west of where the Islanders’ new building will be in Elmont.
He was discussing what it was like to play on the Coliseum, and his words should come as no surprise.
Pandemonium is probably the perfect word to describe what the Nassau Coliseum was like during the latest playoff run. I was lucky enough to be in the building four times through the latest run and it was honestly, perfect.
The noise and eruption from the crowd after a goal was like nothing else. Here’s the perfect example, Anthony Beauvillier’s overtime goal in Game 6:
Without exaggeration, I’ve probably watched this goal no less than 50 times, and each time I get goosebumps. I’m going to miss the hell out of the Coliseum, and I think the players will too.
But, when the Islanders open up their new building, the UBS Arena, at Belmont Park the energy should remain the same for the next generation of Islander fans who will know UBS as home.
As Denis Potvin said on our latest podcast episode, the Islanders did a fantastic job in trying to replicate the low ceiling and having the fans right on top of the ice.
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The young guys like Mat Barzal, Anthony Beauvillier, Oliver Wahlstrom, etc. will get to be the ones who usher in the new building, and hopefully, they will make lasting memories in that place for years to come.