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Connolly's L.A. sports bar the place to be for west coast Islanders fans

Goal Sports Cafe, owned by former 'Entourage' star is blue and orange haven

by Dan O'Leary @DanOLeary25 / NHL.com Staff Writer

Kevin Connolly is an accomplished actor, director and producer, in addition to a sports bar owner. But it's late April, so right now, first and foremost, he is a New York Islanders fan. And he's not about to tempt fate.

So of course you are welcome at his bar, Goal Sports Cafe in Los Angeles if you are in the area, but you are going to play by his rules.

There is really only one.

"It's a sports bar, it's a hockey bar, but it's always an Islanders bar. The Islanders get the main screen and the volume, always," Connolly, best known for his role as Eric Murphy on the HBO comedy "Entourage" from 2004-11, told NHL.com.

Tweet from @NHL: Oh you know @mrkevinconnolly is fired up for tonight���s @NYIslanders game. Head to our IG Story to ask him any and all hockey questions! #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/u12VqKajF0

Connolly has been hosting playoff watch parties at Goal for any and all Islanders fans, many of whom are New York transplants. The most recent one was Friday during the Islanders' 1-0 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference Second Round.

"When you move to California, you miss a piece of home," Connolly, a native of Long Island, said before the puck dropped for Game 1. "Right now it's already getting crowded. I mean the game is a half hour away, it's 3:30 (p.m., PT) on a Friday and it's tough with people working and stuff, but the bar is already packed. People are here ready to rock."

Goal has been buzzing not only on Islanders game nights, but for pretty much every Stanley Cup Playoff game.

"You should have seen the crowd we had in here for San Jose and Vegas," Connolly said. "The place was a mob scene."

But its the Islanders who occupy Connolly's attention.

And on Friday, the bar hosted another special guest. The Stanley Cup.

That brings us to one other rule, albeit only for a night and decided by the community of Islanders fans at the bar.

"We all decided nobody's going to touch it," Connolly said. "We're going to take pictures, get as close as can be but no one is touching it."

There is one other superstition. Before the game, the Ralph Macchio bobblehead goes on the bar and no one is allowed to disturb it.

"No one touches the Macchio bobblehead and no one touches the Cup," Connolly said. "It's a very superstious group in here. We know we got a long way to go, but we're ready."

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