Calvin de Haan played at both Nassau Coliseum and Barclays Center during his five seasons with the Islanders before signing with Carolina last summer. He knows how rowdy the fans can get in Uniondale, and he believes the Islanders playing their second-round home games in Brooklyn helps his current team.
"It's great for us," de Haan said Thursday, according to Newsday. "It's good for the away team. It kind of negates the home-ice advantage to a certain extent. I've played there (the Coliseum) and it's loud and you do feed off of that. Whether you think of it or not, you do feed off the momentum of the crowd and it seemed to elevate everybody on the bench. But it is what it is. That's Mr. Bettman's decision so, whatever."
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman had final say on where the Isles, who split their regular-season games between the two venues, would play their postseason games. For financial reasons, it seemed as if all games would be played at Barclays, but ultimately the Islanders were given the chance to play their first-round home games at the Coliseum, with all subsequent playoff games to be played in Brooklyn.
It's possible the Isles have played their last home game of these playoffs. They fell behind 3-0 in the series when they lost Game 3 Wednesday night in Raleigh, 5-2, with Carolina scoring two empty-net goals.
In recent years, attendance in Raleigh was sparse, with away fans seeming to dominate the crowd. But with an improved team, their fun postgame celebrations and their embracing of the "Bunch of Jerks" moniker, the fan base has embraced the Hurricanes again and has been lively during the playoffs.
"The support here has been great all season," de Haan said. "Everybody is really rallying behind us right now. It's really fun. Sometimes it feels like when you leave a concert and you're a little deaf after. You can't hear stuff on the ice sometimes when the crowd is really going. The lower bowl is massive and it feels like everyone is on top of you. It's a fun building when it's rocking. We definitely have home-ice advantage here when the crowd is going."