The New York Islanders will return to work after the All-Star break just in time for a potentially historic snow storm to hit Long Island.
Forecasters are predicting up to 30 inches of snow could blanket the New York metropolitan area Monday into Tuesday, which could impact Tuesday's Islanders vs. Rangers game at Nassau Coliseum. There has been no word on whether or not the league will postpone the game, but with a possibly monumental storm heading towards the northeast the NHL is likely monitoring the situation.
The Rangers have altered their practice schedule and will be heading out to Long Island earlier than they planned. The Blueshirts will practice at Nassau Coliseum on Monday afternoon and stay on Long Island Monday night. The Isles will also practice at the Coliseum on Monday.
The storm is expected to begin begin Monday afternoon into Tuesday. The heaviest snowfall and strongest winds are expected to hit between late Monday night into Tuesday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has also said that the Long Island Expressway and Long Island Rail Road could be shut down before the evening commute on Monday.
Last January, the Islanders played the Chicago Blackhawks with a winter storm barring down on the area. The year's first snow storm dumped six to 11 inches in the New York area. In 2013, the Islanders hosted the Buffalo Sabres in front of a crowd of 12,608 less than 24 hours after upwards of 33 inches hit Long Island.
The Islanders and Rangers have played twice while the conditions outside were less than ideal. Last January, the two teams met at Madison Square Garden as the Big Apple saw up to 14 inches of snow hit the ground. In December of 2010, the Islanders and Rangers played as 20 inches of snow struck New York City.
Of course, everyone remembers the two games against the Montreal Canadiens in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Long Island was hit with more than two feet of Snow on December 19, 2009 and only 6,000 fans showed up. The following year the Isles played the Canadiens under even more treacherous conditions, with the Nassau County Executive asking people to stay home. The game was played in front of 3,136 people.
The Islanders and county officials requested that the December 26, 2010 game be postponed, according to Newsday, but since the teams and officials were already there, the league opted to hold the game.