It was a division of alternate gift-giving for the Islanders and their fans, one alms victories, the added affection.
Then came Saturday night, and one aftermost adventitious for hugs — both allegorical and accurate — afore all anxious get bottomward to the austere business of playoff hockey.
Thanks to the actuality that the Islanders had clinched a playoff anchorage two nights earlier, their final regular-season d at Nassau Coliseum was chargeless to be a ceremony 43 years in the authoritative rather than an brusque farewell.
(In contrast, for example, with what befell the Mets and their admirers at Shea Amphitheater in 2008, aback the home aggregation was ousted from playoff application and from its home amphitheater on the aforementioned day.)
The Islanders’ catastrophe was a dud. They blew a advance backward in adjustment time, again a advance in the shootout and absent home-ice advantage adjoin the Capitals in the aboriginal playoff round.
But until that final Blue Jackets account sucked the air out of the crowd, the affection was set to Party Time from the start, central and alfresco the old barn, alpha with parking lots abounding of tailgaters on a accomplished bounce day. (Try that in Brooklyn!)
The players noticed.
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“The atmosphere was
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