Has Barclays Center Been Holding the Islanders Back?

There is absolutely no question fans prefer Nassau Coliseum over Barclays Center. On top of the fact that the Barclays Center is located in Brooklyn and is not easily accessible for the heart of the Islanders fan base in the suburbs on Long Island, the Barclays Center is not meant for hockey. It is meant for basketball. The jumbotron is not located above center ice like the other 30 teams in the NHL. Adding to the list of problems, there is obstructed seating at the Barclays center where fans cannot view a section of the ice from those seats. 

It is a mess to say the least. 

Up until January 29th 2018, the Islanders fans and players had to live with Barclays until the Islanders new arena in Belmont was finished. But, on that date, “New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the Islanders will be returning to Nassau Coliseum on a limited basis as the Belmont Park arena is being built.” The islanders played twenty games at the Coliseum during the past 2018-19 season, and the rest they played at Barclays. While the majority of Islander fans would love to have all the games at the Coliseum, most of them were more than happy to be able to get the chance to return to “fort never lose” and “rock the barn again.”


When commissioner of the NHL Garry Bettman announced that the first round of the playoffs would be hosted at Nassau Coliseum but any further rounds would be at Barclays, most fans thought it is what it is, not really knowing what to expect from the Islanders in the playoffs.

However, then the Islanders swept the Penguins and everything changed. In games 1 and 2 at the Coliseum, the place was roaring, constantly giving the team momentum, like a continual power play.

So many fans protested that the rest of the playoffs should be played at the Coliseum, since it is their “real” home, but Mr. Bettman wouldn’t budge. Then the second round begun at the Barclays and the Islanders were swept by Carolina.

There is no question that the Islanders can win at Barclays during the regular season. But, come playoff time, is it possible the Barclays Center could be hurting the Islanders? During the playoffs, the Coliseum gives the Islanders home ice advantage. Barclays Center gives the Islanders home ice.

When the Islanders are playing in the postseason, the Coliseum is huge. Many fans remember the Dynasty era personally from their youth and become enthused imagining a fifth Stanley cup. Then, they are in Barclays Center and it all feels off.

Even Calvin de Haan said Barclays Center negates home ice advantage.

While the path to winning the Stanley Cup is extremely difficult for every NHL team, the Islanders path to the Stanley cup becomes enormously more difficult if there journey through the cup goes through the Barclays Center.

There will be changes next season. If the Islanders new arena progresses on schedule, there could be more games played at the Coliseum. The schedule could be realigned so the Islanders do not have a two month gap between games at Barclays Center. And maybe, in our wildest dreams, the Islanders will play full time at the Coliseum until Belmont Park is ready.

One can only hope.


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