A recent poll conducted by Siena College asked 800 New Yorkers about, among other things, their sports watching habits and favorite teams. The good news for the Islanders is that, among hockey teams, they finished in second place. Among all teams, not so much.
The poll asked New Yorkers who their favorite sports team was, and the Yankees led the way at 22 percent. The Mets, fresh off a World Series appearance, came in second with 13 percent. The Giants earned 12 percent of the vote, while the Bills came in fourth with 8 percent.
And then there's the Jets, all the way down at 6 percent with the New York Knicks.
Ouch. At least that's four points higher than the New York Islanders and Buffalo Sabres, though.
Just two percent of respondents chose the Islanders as their favorite team, same as the Sabres. The Rangers "won" the local hockey race with five percent of the vote. The Devils weren't included because they were reportedly stuck in traffic by the Lincoln Tunnel.
Barclays Center roommates the Brooklyn Nets finished with four percent of the vote.
The Islanders finished eighth among all major league teams in the area and ninth among 14 total voting options which also included "No Favorite (12%)" "Other (2%)" and "Don't Know/Refused (3%)" It's highly likely that everyone responding to any of those questions were Dallas Cowboys fans.
In other words, it takes a very, very special person to declare themselves, first and foremost and above all others, a New York Islanders fan. Not surprisingly, the team ranked pretty highly among suburban residents (7%). They also scored well among Catholics (5%), although it's safe to say that with numbers that low, no god is probably listening. The Rangers have a higher portion of female fans than their rivals (4% to the Islanders 1%), which those in the polling business like to call "The Lundqvist Factor."
So, what are the root causes of these sad numbers for the Islanders? A Lighthouse Hockey poll of 800 blog comments shows the most popular answers to be defenseman Brian Strait (37%), coach Jack Capuano (11%), "Jerk Crapuano" (also 11%), the media (9%), the Canadian media (6%), Mike Milbury (5%) the commute to Barclays Center (4%) and other various transgressions and unforgivable offenses throughout the last 30-or-so seasons that are known only to the respondent (7%).