On Tuesday, it was reported that the New York Islanders would participate in the 2024 NHL Stadium Series with a game against the New York Rangers at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.
It'll be over 10 years since the Islanders last played in an outdoor game.
Those that were there eventually thawed off to talk about.
The last time came on Jan. 29, 2014, at a frigid Yankee Stadium in a 2-1 loss to the Rangers. On that night, the temperature was just 22 degrees at face-off in the Bronx. After puck drop at 7:45 PM, the temperature dropped further as the teams played in single-digit weather factoring in the wind chill.
There were five current Islanders and one current Ranger that participated in that game in the Bronx. The Identity Line of Casey Cizikas, Matt Martin, and Cal Clutterbuck didn't even have a nickname, and Josh Bailey was approximately 700 games away from 1,000. Chris Kreider is the lone Blueshirt in the lineup that is still playing on Broadway.
The Rangers had played two days earlier in a day game, beating the New Jersey Devils. Similar to that format, the Rangers will play two road games in the metro-area Stadium Series - this time on back-to-back days, while the Devils and Islanders will lose a traditional home game at their arenas.
The colorful Evgeni Nabakov returned to the Islanders lineup that night after missing 10 games and wore a ski hat on top of his goalie mask. "You never really know (about playing outdoors) until you're out there and see that great atmosphere," said Nabakov, who made 32 saves in the loss. "I loved every second of it."
A fresh-faced Brock Nelson scored the Islanders' only goal with 1:27 left to play in the second period to give Jack Capuano's team a 1-0 lead. The lead was short-lives as Blushirts tied the game moments later as Benoit Pouliot tied the game with 46 seconds left.
"We're playing well enough to win, but we've got to find a way to win," Capuano said about his struggling team that would go on to miss the playoffs.
On that night, the fans couldn't find a way to stay warm, the Isles couldn't find a way to win.