A little late, but some thoughts on attending Opening Night:
- Judging from the scene in the parking lot, it was as though hockey never left. I was in attendance at the last Opening Night, and even though it was much colder on this night, it was a similar scene. Lots of socialization and camaraderie among Islanders fans, which was great to see.
- We intended to hit Champions for a pre-game dinner, but because of a long wait it didn't happen. Instead, we ended up joining some friends for a tailgate. We were quickly recruited for a game of flip cup, which was a lot of fun. Even though I barely knew anybody, I felt I was among friends.
- Not sure how it came across on TV, but after the first stoppage everybody sort of stood up and applauded. Indeed, being at the game helped to sate the negative feelings of the lockout. It's like if your girlfriend does something to get you upset - you're much better off confronting the issue than staying at home and letting it fester. Being among fans really helped me to move on, and I'm sure many fans in attendance felt the same way.
- The roar after the Hamonic goal was deafening. I hadn't heard the Coliseum so loud since the 2002 playoffs. Say what you want about the Coliseum, but I assure you that you won't hear that kind of roar in Brooklyn in two years.
- Even though the Islanders lost, I still had a great time. I'm truly glad I got to attend and spend Opening Night with so many other diehard fans. I'll let other pundits critique the Isles' play - I'm just glad they're back.