Oh, Bruce Cassidy, you shouldn’t have.
No. Really. You shouldn’t have.
Cassidy’s Bruins have been already going to be skating into a cauldron of sound and fury Wednesday night time at Nassau Coliseum. Part of that’s as a result of the Old Barn on Hempstead Turnpike actually is, and at all times has been, noisier and extra cantankerous than your cranky neighbor, particularly when its favored tenants, the Islanders, are taking part in.
That’s very true when these Islanders have a possibility to shut out a playoff sequence. And when you’d prefer to take it a step additional: if the Islanders don’t shut out this second-round playoff sequence in Game 6 Wednesday, there may be the likelihood that it is perhaps the final Islanders recreation ever performed in The Barn.
So all of that was already in play.
Then Cassidy cleared his throat Monday night, after the Bruins someway misplaced 5-4 in a Game 5, by which they outshot the Islanders 347-6 (or thereabouts) and spent 59 ½ minutes (or thereabouts) camped within the Isles’ zone:
“We’re playing a team that has a very well-respected management and coaching staff. But I think they sell a narrative over there that it’s more like the New York Saints, not the New York Islanders.”
Oh, Bruce. Now you’ve executed it. The 12,000 or so zanies who have been going to make the pilgrimage Wednesday have been already ready to go dwelling with their voice containers ruined. They have been already going to fill the Coliseum with a chic sound unmatched by even The Barn’s extra esteemed contemporaries. You have been already going to get an earful.
And now …
Well, put it this manner: By acclimation, the three loudest nights within the historical past of the outdated incarnation of the Coliseum are usually listed thusly:
- Feb. 13, 1975, when Led Zeppelin opened with “Rock and Roll” and closed with “Stairway to Heaven” after which added 4 encores (capped by “Communication Breakdown,” joined on stage by the Rolling Stones’ Ron Wood), a thunderous 2 ½-hour ode to ear-splitting delight.
- May 13, 1976, when 15,434 of us watched as Julius Erving scored 31 factors, Super John Williamson added 28 and the Nets outscored the Denver Nuggets 34-14 within the fourth quarter to seize the final ABA Championship, 112-106, within the last recreation ever contested with a pink, white and blue ball.
(I used to be at that one. I used to be 9. I’ve been to most likely 2,500 sporting occasions within the 45 years since. I’ve nonetheless by no means heard sports activities louder than it was that night time.)
- And May 24, 1980, when Bobby Nystrom took a cross from John Tonelli and nudged the puck previous Pete Peeters 7:11 into additional time to provide the Islanders a 5-4 win and their first Stanley Cup. It was so loud that day they needed to replay “We Are the Champions” — then simply in its infancy as a championship anthem — as a result of no person might hear it the primary time.
That brings us to Wednesday, June 9, 2021. The Coliseum has been a raucous adventureland of ferocity for every of the 5 dwelling video games thus far in opposition to the Penguins and the Bruins; no shock there, after all, as a result of playoff hockey tends to stir the interior snarl inhabiting all of us. Pittsburgh was loud, too. Boston appeared like fairly a occasion for Game 5.
But that is completely different. There is a clock ticking on the Turnpike. At some level within the subsequent few weeks, it actually shall be final name at The Barn — and this time, they imply it. There is a glowing new enviornment simply 10 miles down the highway, and UBS Arena is a magnificence. The Barn was at all times as a lot a goal of derision as affection, from the minute it opened.
But when you grew up on the Island?
It was a barn, all proper. But it was our barn. We went there for Arrows video games and NCAA Tournament video games, for the outdated Newsday Classic high-school hoops showcase, for Springsteen and U2 and Squeeze and Billy Joel, for the Nets, who hung two ABA banners. And for the Islanders, who hung 4 Stanley Cup banners.
The constructing will stay. The hockey team will go, quickly sufficient. And it was the hockey workforce that allowed Long Islanders to face, proudly, each time the roll of space champions known as. Islanders fans didn’t get any of that final 12 months, when their workforce received three postseason sequence, each minute performed far-off from The Barn.
They have tried to make up for that.
And Wednesday is perhaps most superb chapter but.
“It’s going to be crazy and loud,” Islanders coach Barry Trotz mentioned with a wry smile. “Even [Monday] was stressful, but it was fun. Fans make such a big difference.”
They at all times have, whether or not it’s making an attempt to outshout Robert Plant whereas he reaches the excessive notes on “Black Dog,” or to induce Dr. J as he soars towards a basket or to hitch a superb dog-pile, 12,000 robust, when a puck finds the again of a internet. One extra time, in any case, The Barn can provide us that.
A useful suggestion for Bruce Cassidy: two phrases — ear plugs.