The festivities started in the parking lot, as they often do at Nassau Coliseum, though this was anything but a typical pregame party.
Islanders fans circled Feb. 28 on their calendars the moment John Tavares left their beloved team in free agency to play for his hometown Maple Leafs. They were waiting for this day, when they'd wear their modified No. 91 jerseys with "Traitor" covering Tavares on the nameplate. They poured beer on and burned Tavares jerseys. They had signs made to bring into the old barn with them.
This night was the culmination of eight months of pent up anger, and Isles fans unleashed their fury from the moment Tavares stepped onto the Coliseum ice for warmups through the final horn Thursday as the Islanders routed Tavares and the Maple Leafs, 6-1, in the former Isles captain's first road game on Long Island after signing a seven-year, $77 million deal on July 1 with Toronto.