Monday, October 8, 2007

First Things First...

Best wishes to Jason Blake and his family as they take on this unwelcome challenge. Jason's intensity and determination to proceed with his life and career shine through in his statement.

I know there are some issues with the way Firefox sometimes displays this blog. I'll try to keep the problematic layouts to a minimum.

Today's loss against Washington: I wasn't able to watch the game so I'll just point out some statistical observations. The Caps controlled the faceoffs 55% to 45%. The Caps had six power plays to the Islanders' four. Neither team capitalized. The Isles outshot the Caps 31-12. It certainly sounded like a winnable game. I know that at least a few of the other bloggers were in attendance today, including Tom, so pay a visit to the Blog Box to get their views on the contest.

Now I'd like to get back to a story from Saturday night. When the horn blew to mark the end of the first period, I headed out to the concourse in search of food. I had tried to get something to eat right before the game started, but the lines were too long. This time, I put myself on a line with a very reasonable 8 or 10 people in front of me. At least I thought it would be reasonable.

By the time I arrived at the front of the line, I could hear the team being welcomed back to the ice for the 2nd period. I was told, much to my dismay, that a number of items would not be ready for at least five more minutes. So I made do with what I could get right then, which wasn't the most satisfying selection. Perhaps the concessions are still working out the kinks. After all, the Islanders only had one preseason game at home.

Luckily, a conversation I had while waiting on line made the slow march to sustenance very worthwhile. I heard a voice behind me, in an unmistakable Canadian accent, declare how cool it was to be at Nassau Coliseum watching the Islanders. Intrigued, I turned around and said, "Welcome!" to the first-time visitor. That's how I met Scott and Brock.

Scott is from Saskatchewan and now lives in New York. He came to the game with his cousin's teenage son. They were both very personable and I had a great time talking hockey with them. Here's what impressed me most: Scott is an Oilers fan, yet he spoke about the dynasty Islanders with the same reverence that any of us would. It just goes to show the indelible impact that those teams had on the entire hockey community. To this day, there are Islanders fans scattered all over the United States and Canada as a result of the work turned in by this franchise in its early years.

Anyway, I just wanted to relate that little tale because the chance meeting left an indelible impression on me. Scott and Brock, if you happen to have found your way here, I just wanted to give you a little shoutout. I hope you guys find your way back to the Coliseum often.

The greatest excitement of the night came after the game when the members of the Blog Box were escorted down to the locker room area. Once there, Chris Botta led us on a tour of the facilities (including "the smallest locker room in professional sports"), secured some interview time with Chris Campoli, and put us in position to participate in Ted Nolan's post-game press conference. We saw many members of both teams going about their business, including a comical moment with Mike Sillinger that none of us will soon forget.

One of my favorite moments was when Chris said goodnight to Lindy Ruff and Darcy Regier as the two exited with understandably sour looks on their faces. I could give you the play-by-play on all that went down, including our meet-and-greet/photo opp with Deb Kaufman. Instead, I will refer you to the very capable hands of Mike, Jim, Dee, Michael (with pics), and Ken D for the complete picture.


Mike Carey said...

Thanks for the shout out. I'll be in my regular seats in Sec 303 for tomorrow's game but looking forward to seeing you and everyone after the game for the post-game activities. Continuing to enjoy your entries, looking forward to reading more.

Outsider said...

Thanks, Mike. Come down to the Box during the game to say hello if you get the chance. By the way, you did an outstanding job recapping Campoli's comments. My recorder died so I was quite happy to be able to link to your coverage.