It's a preseason game that means nothing, yet it's an "exhibition" game that foretells so much: In two short years the New York Islanders will leave Nassau Coliseum and the suburbs -- home to Kate Murray's frozen in time lifestyle -- behind. Future metro battles will be even more than too close for comfort, with the Garden, Brooklyn and Newark arenas hosting the Metropolitan Division's three closest neighbors.
For now, two of those neighbors meet tonight in the Isles-Devils rematch. Some "core" Islanders and prospects get a glimpse of their future home, some vets get a taste of a home they'll never occupy, and curious fans from Nassau and Suffolk County taste where their team is headed, while Brooklyn-based fans get a peek at their team coming closer to home.
This particular game comes a year after it was supposed to; the NHL Lockout III canceled last year's preseason game (though in lockout boredom we pretended it happened anyway), which was to take place before the announcement that the Isles would indeed make it their permanent home. Now with that news well established, this is another stage of the slow-build hoopla leading up to the relocation two years ahead.
Once again, your expected lineup and combos:
26 Moulson – 91 Tavares – 96 Bouchard
12 Bailey – 51 Nielsen – 21 Okposo
17 Martin – 53 Cizikas – 13 MacDonald
36 Boulton – 28 Sundstrom – ? Johnson
37 Strait – 3 Hamonic
46 Donovan – 47 MacDonald
8 Reinhart – 11 Visnovsky
By many accounts, the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) delivered trainloads of Islanders fans, picking up buckets at multiple stops along the way.
And fans were showing up in force.
Whether or not you get the live stream (it's restricted to the New York area and creative Internet users), you can follow along with commentary below:
Radio feed at WRHU here.
Enjoy the game. Whether you're watching online or at the game itself, share you impressions of the experience below. (Oh, I guess you can talk about the players too.)
More from Lighthouse Hockey:
- [Bits] New York Islanders Lines for Brooklyn vs. the New Jersey Devils
- 2013-14 New York Islanders Previews: Frans Nielsen-Michael Grabner PK Double Threat
- It's John Tavares's Birthday Party!*
- [Bits] Islanders-Devils Preseason Reactions; Clutterbuck 4-6 Weeks; NHL Suspensions
- Eric Boulton All Over Boxscore in Islanders-Devils Preseason Circus