NY Islanders catch a Stadium Series ride from Long Island's finest and bravest

2024 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series - New York Rangers v New York Islanders
2024 Navy Federal Credit Union Stadium Series - New York Rangers v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

The New York Islanders chose to differentiate themselves from other NHL teams by wearing the same walk-in outfits for their Stadium Series matchup that they would wear for any regular season game. It was a tad disappointing, although it was a perfectly predictable outcome for a Lou Lamoriello-run organization.

While their suit and tie look was ordinary, they did arrive in an unfamiliar fashion. The team arrived onboard multiple Long Island fire tricks (Gleenlawn, Plainview, East Meadow) with sirens blaring as fans welcomed them outside of their gate a few hours before game time. Some members of the team were escorted by Long Island police officers. The New York Rangers did the same, courtesy of the FDNY and NYPD, but their players were also wearing NYPD or FDNY ice hockey sweaters.

Unless the Islanders were dressed as Wall Street professionals who commute to the city from their palatial homes in Garden City, it was business as usual. The disparity between their lack of walk-in outfits and what the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils did less than 24 hours earlier is considerable. The Flyers showed up dressed as Rocky Balboa, ready to climb up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Devils meanwhile leaned heavily into their swampland of Jersey roots, wearing Sopranos themed attire.

Before the Winter Classic on Jan. 1st, the defending Stanley Cup Champion, the Vegas Golden Knights, came dressed as Elvis impersonators as the hometown Seattle Kraken wore water fisherman outfits as a nod to one of their city's most noted professions.

Is any of this a big deal? No, not really. What happens on the ice later in the afternoon is all that matters in the short and long run. The two points are worth far more than either social media points scored during the day. However, while we all understand Lamoriello's long-standing rules, today's game was a one-off, an outlier event, and could have been reason enough for an exception.