Tag Archive | Nassau Coliseum

There is a Bright Side: Reflections of a Frustrated Islanders Fan

By Brett Malamud

Now is the time where I step back from the media side of things, and write this as a fan talking to other Islanders fans.

Tonight we watched as the Islanders season came to an end. You can point at power play numbers, goalie mistakes, low offense, defensive turnovers. It doesn’t matter anymore. The season is over. Move on. There is a bright side, and another day. I will say that at the end of this season, the future is now. Now is the time. Nobody expected 101 points out of this team. Nobody. Look forward to the playoffs in the coming years. These kids are going to flourish. Tavares, Okposo, Strome, Lee, Cizikas, Martin, Nelson. Leddy, Hamonic, Donovan, Mayfield, Reinhart, Pulock. A couple tweaks in the offseason and they’ll be ready. This season, everyone compared the Isles to the cup teams of the 80’s and we’ll see that continue as the years go on. The magic that happened this season is irreplaceable. The Coliseum’s time has come to an end, but the Isles have not. They’ve only just begun.

As for Nassau Coliseum, there’s only one way that it could’ve properly gone out, and it didn’t go that way. That would’ve been with a cup over John Tavares’ head. But the way it did go out on Sunday does represent everything that the Coliseum had: Noise, Grit, Determination. It was only fitting for the Barn to go out on a win. It’ll be sad to see the Coliseum go, and even though we don’t know if the team will ever return, I’ll always take away that one moment. Just like everyone else. For me, it’s the Sean Bates penalty shot in the 2002 playoffs. I was eight years old, and my family had season tickets at the time. I went to the game with my mom, and our best friends Doug and Jared Bursky. I have never heard a louder Nassau Coliseum than in that moment. Even still, I get goosebumps every single time I see that highlight. Every single time. Nothing will change that.

NVMC

As for the Capitals, I look back tonight on that same kid 13 years ago. A frustrated, crying, eight-year-old Islander fan watching the Maple Leafs win game seven and advance. I can’t help but remember losing that series at a time like now, in such a physical series. Washington won the series and that’s all that matters. Now as an Islander fan, I can only say one thing to the Capitals…

Go out and finish the job. Bury the Rangers.


Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

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Isles Making Lasting Memories for Fans in the Playoffs

By Brett Malamud

Silence. That can be heard early Monday afternoon in the little barn in Uniondale. But turn back the clock a mere 24 hours, and you have arguably the loudest atmosphere that any team will experience in the playoffs this season. The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum will be closing its doors at the end of the year, and New York Islanders fans are giving the building the ultimate send off.

Fans were challenged on Saturday afternoon, as the Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin gave his expectations for Sunday’s game three matchup.

Ovechkin was greeted with chants of “CAN YOU HEAR US?” The chant echoed throughout game three. From the opening faceoff, fans gave the Capitals the ultimate distraction, and fueled the adrenaline of the hometown Islanders. A second period deflection by Kyle Okposo gave the Islanders the lead, igniting the crowd even more. Defenseman Johnny Boychuk finished the second period with a game-changing diving stop on Ovechkin and headed to the locker room to the sound of a loud “John-ny Boy-chuk!” chant.

Nicklas Backstrom ripped the hearts out of many of the 16,170 fans when he went top shelf and found the back of the net with just 6:06 to play. Was this the beginning of another late-game Isles collapse? I’m sure that two weeks ago, many Islanders fans would have anticipated that. But this day was different. After the goal, another thunderous “Let’s go Islanders” chant broke out and the crowd stayed in it. The fans wouldn’t go unheard, and refused to go home unhappy. Regulation ended and fans buckled up for the long overtime period…or at least that’s what they thought.

Fifteen seconds. That’s all it took. Nick Leddy fired the puck, Nikolay Kulemin deflected it on net, and Islanders captain John Tavares picked up the rebound and sliced the puck just over the pad of goaltender Braden Holtby, sending Islanders country into a mass frenzy. The Capitals left the ice to a resounding “YES! YES! YES!” chant, and were now down two games to one, to a team that hasn’t won a playoff series in 20 years.

The game also signaled that more hockey is to be played at the Coliseum, as the Islanders are guaranteed to play at least two more games in the Barn, with more on the way if they can close out Washington twice more and advance to the next round.

The Islanders before the final regular season game at Nassau Coliseum on April 12, 2015

The Islanders before the final regular season game at Nassau Coliseum on April 12, 2015

This season, the Islanders have honored their past, bringing back legends from the cup years, and honoring them individually. Last weekend, the Islanders shocked many when they did not bring back all of them for the last regular season game, but opted for “decades night” a week earlier, bringing back two players from each decade. No offense to the players honored, but people who paid big money for tickets didn’t come to see Eric Cairns, Steve Webb and Shawn Bates. They came to see Nystrom, Bossy, Gillies, Potvin, Smith, Trottier, Bourne, Resch, Lafontaine, Westfall, Harris, Morrow, Tonelli, Goring, Sutter, Turgeon, Volek, Palffy, Berard, and Jonsson all in one room on the final night of the season. They came to see the guys who turned the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum into Fort Neverlose and into the Barn, and many were left in disappointment. But we move on. The only truly fitting ending to the coliseum now would be John Tavares skating to center ice, shaking commissioner Gary Bettman’s hand, and lifting that 35-pound trophy sky high. That would honor the past, and what the building has meant to all Islanders fans. It’s place where many memories were made, and a place where many have spent most of their childhoods. It’s Home.

Game four is set for 7 pm on Tuesday night.


Brett Malamud is an English Rhetoric Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy