Despite the Islanders problems with Barclays Center, they have been enjoying a great record at the Brooklyn arena since the move in 2015.
The Islanders, who are currently awaiting word to build a new arena at Belmont Park, are 52-23-13 at Barclays Center since their move. The organization has complained about its less than adequate location and ice conditions, but their record shows that they like being home.
"The guys just seem comfortable. They play well there," head coach Doug Weight told Newsday's Steven Marcus. "They strange thing to me, even when we're not on our game -- I can't say it's the crowd or the atmosphere, whatever it is -- you just have a good chance to win. We've won more games maybe in that building that we feel like coming out of we didn't play that great. We just find ways to win in that building right now, so I don't want to talk too much about it. We have a good mojo there."
This season, the Isles haven't lost at Barclays, owning a 5-0-1 record as of now. An even bigger stat is the team is 25-5-4 against Western Conference teams since their move, which is the best interconference home record in the NHL since 2015.
But the main focus is getting permission to build on Belmont Park, which the Islanders believe will convince star C John Tavares to sign a multi-year extension after his contract goes up this offseason.
"I'm not going to sit here and say it is or it isn't," Tavares said about the new arena. "For me, anyone making a big commitment, decision in their life, I think you want to know everything that's invovled, and certainly you want to take your time, and I think that's my type of personality. For me, I don't see it really as a rush. I still got the rest of this contract, and now that we're in the season, I'm just trying to worry about playing as much as I can. That's enough on my plate."
As for his current home, Tavares is content with Barclays this season.
"You just try to make home ice obviously an advantage. A place you want to be comfortable in. We've done that for the most part for two-plus years now, so we jsut want to continue to get better at it. There's a long way to go in this season, a lot more home games. We want to make those productive and obviously get results there."
We all know Barclays Center is far from perfect. That's true for everyone in the situation. The ice surface leaves something to be desired for the players, the financial agreement with Barclays Center management isn't great for either party, and all of the fan complaint have been addressed ad nauseam.
But so far, it has served its purpose.
Barclays Center was the vehicle that allowed Charles Wang to keep the Isles in New York. It hosted the only playoff series win for this franchise in a quarter of a century. And, if ownership can win the Belmont Park RFP, it will serve as the final detour in one of the wackiest rides in North American sports.
But for now, all that matters is that the Isles feel comfortable skating and winning there, and it's clear that they do. The commute from Long Island isn't an issue for the players, and while they're averaging just 75 percent capacity this season, the fans who are turning out are producing a good atmosphere.
If they are going to be viable contenders this year -- and so far, it looks like they will be -- the Islanders are going to need that home ice advantage. Imperfections be damned, Barclays Center is providing that in spades.