On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.
In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.
The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.
Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.
(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)
Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:
ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.
It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”
Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.
So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.
They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.
Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.
Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.
If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.