Devils clinched playoffs and were playing spoiler to keep the Isles from making playoffs. I'm at my grandparents house with my Isles family and my devil cousins. The game went into overtime. Those minutes took forever and nothing was settled.
Shootouts were still a recent addition in the NHL. All I remember is that Smyth had a chance to win the shootout for the Isles and Devils made the save. Our goalie, Wade Dubielewicz at the time, because Ricky was entering his sad time of downfall, was in net. Wade’s helmet was well known for the Islander history and the picture of Yoda on the back of it.
The Devil came down the ice and Wade came out, and had maybe one of the best poke saves ever by a goaltender in a shootout. With that amazing play we made playoffs, and made my day. The excitement that day was awesome. Of course that was ruined when we fell apart in the first round of the playoffs.
Now the Isles are back in after this 6 year drought and it didn’t quite happen the same way as in 2007. We lost against the Canes, I went to bed just to be woken up by my phone getting the alert that with that point we got in OT, we would be going to the Playoffs. You bet I woke up with a smile that morning, and yes I was smiling just from the game.
Me being a Isles fan since I knew what hockey was, this is pretty awesome going to the playoffs and having a good chance of making it past the first round. But I have always worn my sweater and I have been a proud fan. I know though there are going to be those who are going to be dusting off their jerseys and hats. Sure they might not have been loyal but a fan is a fan. Maybe making the playoffs will reassure those who have been there during the dark times, and maybe it will bring those out of hiding.