Nearly 12,000 people showed up to Barclays Center for preseason hockey. The Islanders beat the New Jersey Devils 3-2 in the shootout and fans finally had the chance to hear the goal horn at Barclays Center.
“Well it’s nice to score a goal,” Islander Head Coach Jack Capuano told reporters after the game. “Last year we never heard the horn go off. Didn’t even know what it was going to be like.”
Friday’s preseason game in Brooklyn was as much about evaluating players as it was about preparing for the team’s move there following this season. Friday was the final time the Islanders will skate in Brooklyn before they relocate.
“It was a fun experience,” said Brock Nelson, who did not play in last season’s exhibition game at the Brooklyn venue. “It’s exciting, but at the same time you cant really look forward to it. I know we still have to take care of this year and I think we have a lot to prove. I think we’ll just take it one day at a time for now and leave the Barclays excitement off for the future.”
For the second year in a row the players enjoyed their trip to the Barclays. However, the ice was still an issue.
During last year’s game in Brooklyn it was clear the ice was not in good shape. This year it looked better, but as the game went on it took its toll on the ice. “When you’re doing it for just one game it’s hard to get the ice in tip-top shape,” Brian Strait said from his stall in the Brooklyn Nets locker room.
The Islanders still have one final year at the Nassau Coliseum before they move to Brooklyn. So while the move is starting to sink it, it is not where the team’s focus is for the 2014-15 season.
“I think [the media] spends more time talking about it than we do in our room,” Travis Hamonic said following the team’s morning skate in Syosset. “Quite frankly we’re just worried about the season and getting through each and every day. We’ll worry about moving to the Barclay Center when the time comes.
“We’re not really focused on this is the last season we need to do good in the Coliseum, because it’s the last season. We want to do good in the Coliseum because it’s our team and it’s our home rink.”
After two trips to the Barclays Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano wasn’t ready to say the building felt like home.
“It’s a great venue. There’s no question it’s a beautiful place,” Capuano replied when asked if the Barclays Center was starting to feel like home. “We know we’re going to be here at a certain point, but it was good to come. Preseason and now we have to focus on the Coliseum and our fans there.”