Sunday, September 16, 2018

Brand New Isles, Renovated Coli - Preseason Win

Well, it looks like hell hath frozen over; I attended an Islanders game.  Okay, so it was a pre-season game and it was at the Coliseum, but I went.  It was rather spur of the moment and something my spouse wanted to do more than I did, but that doesn't matter.

I WAS IN THE BUILDING!!!  So I have to ask, where were so many of you?  I know I have been MIA for almost two years now, but I thought for sure the first game back at the Coliseum would be packed.  While it was a "decent" showing for an 80 degree sunny Sunday, and  1 pm game, I was disappointed.

This was the first time I have seen the renovations of the Coliseum for myself.  I am still not a fan of the metal fence, space ship exterior, but the interior was clean and sleek.  The bathrooms were a huge improvement and we finally have cup-holders.  Yeah!!  The dark gray seats are comfortable and the floor is freshly painted and isn't even sticky.

The parking was a whopping $25, Big Pretzels are now $7 each, Wine is $11 for a 6 oz bottle and a cocktail is $13.50.  Bring cash.  Lots of cash.  Granted, these prices are all in line with other venues, but personally I won't be able to do this too often.  But that's my problem, not yours.

While the original charm of the old barn may be gone, the amazing sight lines and acoustics are still there.  So was the sweet, familiar sound of Paul Cartier's Hammond organ perched high above the ice.  It would not be an Islanders game without him.

It seems though the Ice Girls are no longer a thing.  Yep, the ice crew was a co-ed, prison jumpsuit clad, shovel pushing blur.  Maybe they have Santa suit jumpsuits in December, but they at least don't detract from the game.

Right the game!  I had no idea who half the players were.  Yes, I've been away that long.  Then again, some of them that were on the ice today may not be an Islander for too long.  Guess I'll check everyone's blog or podcast to find out for now.

The return of Matt Martin brought a collective roar from the crowd along with his starting line mates, Cal Clutterbuck and Casey Cizikas.  The old "best fourth line in the NHL" started today's game, and we were delighted.  Equally delighted when Clutterbuck scored a power play goal.  Not delighted that Martin spent two minutes in the box.

New Isles goalie, Robin Lehner received rousing applause and put on a good showing making 8 saves while Gibson, who played the second half made 9 in this shut out game over the Flyers.

Matt Barzal was noticeable on the ice with his great skating ability, and did manage to earn an assist, but it was Kieffer Bellows who managed to get a mark in every column of the scoresheet today:  a goal, an assist and two minutes in the box.  Nice job kid.  The third Isles goal was scored by Sebastian Aho.  Like I said, I did a lot of "Who's that?"  But a name I didn't even realize I didn't see today until a few minutes ago was Josh Bailey.  Nope.  Didn't even notice.  Then again, I'm sure he hasn't missed me either.

So there you have it.  I went to a game, spent way too much money and actually wrote a blog.  I had forgotten how long this actually takes me.  But it was better than cleaning or doing actual work.

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