By Jack Allen
The New York Islanders home since 1972 has been the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The upcoming 2014-15 campaign will be the 43rd and final year played there. Since the lockout, (2005) the Islanders have made the playoffs as an eighth seed twice. In 2007 on a dramatic 82nd game in New Jersey at Continental Airlines Arena, and in 2013 with a game tying goal in the final minute in Raleigh, North Carolina against the Hurricanes on a John Tavares goal. All the other years have been absolutely miserable for the passionate hockey fans on Long Island. Due to some offseason help in the net from Jaroslav Halak and Chad Johnson, and some help on the forward lines with Nikolai Kulemin and Mikhail Grabovski, are they poised for a playoff run? Jaroslav Halak has had a very good career and has also had some postseason success in Montreal when he single-handedly lead them to a first round upset over the high flying Washington Capitals lead by Alexander Ovechkin. The next round he led them to a seven game upset over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The cinderella story ended in Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference Finals. Otherwise, Mikhail Grabovski in the 2013-14 season registered only 13 goals, but only played in 58 games. Meanwhile, in 2010-11 with Toronto he played 81 games and had 29 goals, so we know what he is capable of. Nikolai Kulemin in 2013-14 played in 70 games and only registered 20 points, but in 2010-11 he had 30 goals on the same team, and the same line as Grabovski. They had tremendous chemistry together. Hopefully, the former line mates can reunite and lead the Islanders back to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2014-15.
The Islanders open the season against Metropolitan division foe Carolina in a home and home series. October 10th is opening night in Carolina, and October 11th will be the final opening night in Nassau Coliseum history. The Islanders final game is scheduled for April 11th against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Many of the fans will be extremely disappointed if that really is the end. With Isles General Manager Garth Snow going out this summer and picking up some free agents, it has opened up new expectations for this fall. The fans who bleed the orange blue are hungry for one more crack at it at the old barn! Let’s go Islanders!
Jack Allen is a writer for dabuzzza.com. He is a fan of the New York Mets, New York Islanders, New York Knicks, New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners, Queens Park Rangers, and West Virginia Mountaineer football and basketball. His favorite athletes are David Wright, John Tavares, Geno Smith, Allen Iverson and Charlie Austin. He is a very passionate and determined fan. You can follow him on twitter @JackAllen99.