New York Islanders forward Josh Bailey has been looking forward to the upcoming 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game between the Isles and the New York Rangers (Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS2) at Yankee Stadium. In the second edition of the player blog he is doing for NHL.com this week, Bailey talks about his experience Tuesday practicing with his teammates at baseball's most famous ballpark.
We had the opportunity to skate at Yankee Stadium today, and it felt like junior hockey a little bit again with practice being later in the afternoon. But it was a good experience. Just to come down and see Yankee Stadium, you just try to soak it all in.
It was a good practice. We had some fun with the families out there afterwards. I was able to be out there with my girlfriend and my brother. It was a really enjoyable day.
I know everyone thinks about memories of playing outside, but I think that gets played up a little more than it actually is. To me, it felt like another practice. At the same time, it was obviously cool. It was a different atmosphere. The rink felt really small just because the area is so big. But it was a good experience.
It's going to be tough for coach Capuano when he fills out the lineup tomorrow and is forced to leave out one or two of the guys from playing in this game. Whoever it may be that doesn't get to play, that's obviously going to sting. But we've got a tight-knit group. We're all going to come together and try and enjoy the experience.
Some might think playing in such an event could be a distraction, but I think it will help that we're playing the Rangers. It's a team we're obviously very familiar with. We've got a lot of games against them in a short amount of time. I think once the puck drops, you kind of forget about the other stuff. It just becomes another game. That's the approach we have to take.
That being said, I know there will be a different feel when I wake up tomorrow. Things will have a different energy going to the rink. We're not going to our normal rink; we're going to a baseball stadium. It'll definitely be a little different, but today helped. You get a feel for things and get accustomed to it.
It's great that we're going to be in the spotlight tomorrow night, but in the end, it's still just one game. Obviously, it's a different feel on a bigger stage and a bigger atmosphere. It's still two big points for us. But we're going to try and enjoy it. The best way to enjoy it is by getting a win tomorrow.