By Jason Lockhart THE SEVENTH MAN
Islanders fans, in case you weren't aware, the players CAN hear you. Keep up the good work. You were loud, enthusiastic and appreciated by the players. Just ask goaltender Joey MacDonald, who had his name "JO-EY" chanted throughout the game, after every big save and after being named the game's number one star.
"It was really great hearing all of the fans chant my name," said MacDonald. "I've never heard that many people chant my name at once. It was very special."
Doug Weight also acknowledged the crowd and puts the onus on the team to keep up their enthusiasm.
"It was awesome tonight," said Weight, who has totaled three points in his first two games. "Let's keep winning, so we can keep putting people in the seats, because it's a great hockey town. We're liking––as a team––how we're feeling now. Hopefully, we can continue to get better and keep enjoying these home games."
A LITTLE HELP FROM HIS FRIEND
For the second game in a row, Captain Bill Guerin collected a game puck for one of his teammates. Yesterday, he grabbed Doug Weight's first goal-scoring puck as an Islander. Tonight, he took the game puck and handed it to Head Coach Scott Gordon.
"Billy told me congratulations and hopefully it's the first of many," said Gordon. TAILGATING
The Islanders parking lot was filled with some of the most enthusiastic fans, prior to Saturday’s game. The weather was perfect for the pre-game festivities.
IslanderMania––the New York Islanders officially sanctioned message board––was out in full force today, with a far greater turnout than in year's past.
"This is what having IslanderMania is able to do," said Dom, a.k.a. My Friend, referring to the large number of IslandersMania members. "It helps bring all of these people together, who probably would have never met. Thanks to IslanderMania being on Newyorkislanders.com we have over 4,000 more users than last year. The turnout for the Home Opener has been great."
A few tents away, another large group was holding their own tailgating party for Kristin Muscarella, who turned 21 on Saturday. In the past, she's only brought eight friends with her to the Islanders game, but this year, she went through Group Sales to purchase 50 tickets for her friends and family.
"I've been an Islanders fan since I was 9, so it's perfect that I'm here on my 21st birthday" said Kristin. "We made Seven Mary Three CDs to play leading up to the game." SEVEN MARY THREE ROCKS OUT
Speaking of Seven Mary Three, the mutli-platinum group rocked out the Coliseum, performing prior to the game, during the first period intermission and following the game.
The group walked onto the stage, which was situated at one end of the ice. The stage then rose 20 feet above the ground, while the zamboni cleaned the ice below.
"This is absolutely a first for us," said guitarist Thomas Juliano, about performing while suspended in mid-air. "Being on the stage was really fun. It was a little shaky up there and scary because it rocks a lot. But it was an awesome experience. We're typical musicians, so we're not really sports guys, but I'm from Queens and have five Long Island buddies who are here. All week they've been asking me to get them an Islanders jersey. So there is a connection there." A FAN'S PERSPECTIVE ON GORDON AND WEIGHT
Perusing the Nassau Coliseum concourse, one could find many well-informed Islanders fans. One of those fans was Ryan Yuhan––from East Moriches––who gave his thoughts on Scott Gordon's new system and new acquisition Doug Weight.
"So far the forecheck has been very good," said Yuhan. "When it works, it puts a lot of pressure on the other team. The first goal was caused because of the forecheck. If it goes to plan, it's going to work. As for Weight, he's a great leader and a great playmaker. He will bring the kids along and show them what it takes to win because he's a proven winner."