In a face-saving move, the New York Islanders asked MSG Network not to re-air the infamous February 11 “brawlfest”, which would have appeared during last night’s viewing party. To many, that probably indicated that the viewing party was canceled, but the show went on.
Instead of airing that bloody 9-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, fans were treated to the Islanders’ 7-6 win over the Buffalo Sabres, which happened two days later on February 13. The Checking Line’s Evan Pivnick reveals that “a decent amount” of fans came to the viewing party even after the compromise, although much of the focus was still on that fight-filled game. Pivnick reports that the loudest “pop” of the night came when that telecast showed a flashback to the Penguins-Islanders game and that Islanders fans gathered around one inventive fan who brought a recorded version of the “brawlfest” to the event (on a laptop or tablet type device, one would assume).
The loudest crowd pop of the night, to use my WWE terminology, came during the telecast when MSGN showed a flashback to “The Brawl Game”, which was originally going to be aired that night.
A fan at one of the tables at the restaurant had brought with him a device which he had “The Brawl Game” DVR’d on it. He and a group of Islanders fans huddled around a circular table and watched that game.
Ultimately, the Islanders made the right PR move – and the franchise enjoyed many of the benefits of running the party without actually doing so. Even though the original plans were scuttled, Islanders fans re-lived that moment (and make no mistake about it, there are more than a few Islanders fans who think that night might be pivotal for the franchise) by debating the merits of the viewing party for a few days. Sure, that’s not the same as watching the game over again while enjoying some adult beverages and high-fives with like-minded fans, but it will have to do.
(H/T to Pensblog.)