The building and the borough were the contextual focus surrounding the home opener event. But on the ice, in their first-ever game that counts at Barclays Center, the New York Islanders needed to set about building upon a new era begun a few seasons ago.
Their guests, the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, had already lost their own home opener to the Islanders' now-closer city rivals. This time the Hawks won in 3-on-3 overtime with Nick Leddy in the box.
A few quick thoughts on the occasion, then you can take it away in comments and later posts:
- The opening ceremonial face-off featured the Islanders owners along with four of the six retired number honorees: Billy Smith, Bobby Nystrom, Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier all in uniform and coming out to thunderous chants of "Let's-Go Islanders!"
- Speaking of which, for a transition to a new era, it was soothing to have classic Isles announcer Jiggs McDonald in the booth, in for the first few games while Howie Rose is on baseball duty.
- However, the first historical footnote -- other than Thomas Greiss becoming the Islanders' seventh different goalies in their last eight season openers -- went to the bad guys. Artem Anisimov scored the first goal at Barclays, shorthanded in the first period, on a nasty upstairs backhand after a bad backhand giveaway by Brock Nelson at center ice.
- The first key Islanders historic footnote went to the right player though: John Tavares equalized in the second period with a dizzying set of dekes before slamming in a rebound for the first Isles goal that counted in their new home.
- We'll hear more from those who were at that home, but on TV the venue looked fantastic, the steep obstructed view end an imposing sight. One obstruction though, even for TV viewers: The railings on a few of the near-side sections, and people who walk near them during play, cut into the view at the bottom of the screen.
Possible early review relating to the action itself though:
Also, the ice looks like soup. Had to play a factor in Nelson giveaway that led to SHG.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) October 10, 2015
Bottom line though? The season has begun. Islanders hockey is back. That's the important thing, no matter where they play (as long as it's not Quebec, Kansas City, Yellowknife, etc.).
Instant reactions and thoughts on the game or the experience? Fire away in comments, Brooklyn-style.