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Islanders playoff home games: first round at Nassau, rest in Brooklyn

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The New York Islanders’ feel-good (/feel-bad-about-your-predictions) story presented a new wrinkle on Friday.

The Islanders answered a “What if?” question few uttered heading into 2018-19: where are the Isles going to play their home games for the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs? Assuming, of course, that they complete this run and clinch a spot.

As you likely know, the Islanders have played some of their home games at Long Island’s classic, creaky Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, while playing the rest at the shiny, not-especially-hockey-friendly Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Considering the Islanders’ comfortable placement as a playoff team (and frontrunner to win the Metropolitan Division), that decision was needed. Cynics probably expected the answer to be “all Brooklyn,” but that’s not how it is ending up. Instead, the team announced that if the Isles make the playoffs as expected:

  • All first-round home games would take place at Nassau Coliseum.
  • Any home games from the second round and on will be at Barclays Center.

That’s … odd, but kind of cool, right? Sort of like this Islanders run to begin with.

The actual statement is fascinating, particularly the phrase “reflecting that the Nassau Coliseum does not qualify as an NHL major league facility.” That’s only slightly better than asking a crush out to dinner on Valentine’s Day, having them accept, and then hearing them say “Who needs a romantic Valentine’s Day, when you can have dinner with such a nice friend!”

Following consultation with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, the New York Islanders and BSE Global have announced that should the Islanders qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, any first round home playoff games will take place at NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Should the team qualify for further rounds of the playoffs, any home Islanders games will take place at Barclays Center, reflecting that the Nassau Coliseum does not qualify as an NHL major league facility.

This agreement has been approved by the NHL, with the understanding that the scheduling of games will be in accordance with usual League practices.

Maybe that dig stings a bit, but … hey, more playoff games at Nassau. Who would have thought this would have happened just a few years ago? This Islanders team really is beating all of the odds.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.