The Key Dates

After having about a month to digest the upcoming schedule, I’ve compiled some must see dates, otherwise known as the nights before the mornings I will be calling in sick at work. In no particular order:

11/16/07 So let me get this straight, the Islanders take on the Devils in New Jersey and I will not be getting on a port authority bus bound for “The Land of Meadows”. Instead, we’ll all be taking the PATH train to Newark to see our neutral zone trap loving rivals. That will take some getting used to. Although this is not our building, it will be exciting to see the Isles play in a new local arena. I believe the building will help the Devils improve their attendance for a year to a year and a half and guarantee a better atmosphere than Continental. Look, however, for attendance to wane as the new car smell of the arena fades.

10/11/07 Isles at Leafs. Jason Blake is really the only departing free agent I will have difficulty getting used to seeing in another jersey. If any of you saw the press conference introducing him in Toronto, you would have noticed that his jersey seemed way too large for him. Is this some sort indication of how he will fill expectations in Toronto? Only time will tell. I do know that given the contract he received 20-25 goals a season may be considered underachieving. And Toronto is one of the last places a hockey player wants to underachieve. I thought he was a good player, and seemed like a likable person. I wish him and his family the best.

2/5/08 Stanley Cup defending champs at NYI. We will see the defending champs, and at the same time a team we very rarely play, in one night. It will be interesting to see how the Ducks handle the post Cup season letdown that has afflicted other teams in the past. See Carolina Hurricanes.

11/3/07 Al Arbour Night. If you told me Al Arbour was flying in from Canada to coach the NY Dragons, I would be tail-gaiting by late morning. This, to me, is the must game to attend this season. There’s too much to write here, so look for a separate post as 11/3 approaches.

Some general notes. The eight games against the Rangers are heavily weighted to the beginning and end of the season. I know some have complained about this scheduling. I am more concerned with the frequency for which we play them (along with all divisional rivals), than the timing. Eight games is simply too much. I feel it weakens the intensity when you see a team so many times. You know something’s wrong when you hear a fan incredulously ask “The Flyers…again?” A final observation, look for a potentially grinding Spring, as from March 21st through the end of the season, its all Atlantic Division games.


I don’t remember the year. I’m guessing it was 1985 when my uncle took me and my two cousins to our first Islander game. The Isles beat the New Jersey Devils 3-2, and there was a fair amount of organ music playing throughout the game. That’s all I remember, but what I remembered is unimportant. What really matters is that I became an Islander fan that night.
I grew up in Queens, NY attended college upstate, and lived in New York City during most of my twenties. I follow the Jets, but by far my true passion has always been New York Islander Hockey. My favorite memories as a fan were attending two of Isles-Leafs playoff games in 2002, while watching the third at a pub with friends in Hell’s Kitchen. The intensity in the arena was overwhelming as the fans voiced their hungry support of a resurgent Islander club. Although we didn’t pull it out in the end, the Coliseum earned the reputation as one of the most intimidating buildings to have to visit come playoff time. My favorite all time Islander is Denis Potvin. Yeah, I was only a toddler when he was leading the Isles through the dynasty years, and I was way too young to ever remember having seen him play, but it doesn’t matter. You didn’t have to see him play to know what the man was about.
I am 30 years old, work in NYC in a finance job and currently live in Hudson County, NJ with my wife. It’s my day job that pays the bills, but the idea of working in the NHL in any capacity is my dream. The Isles’ giving me the opportunity to write this blog is the closest I’ve ever gotten to living it.