BROOKLYN — The Barclays Center may take some getting used, to but for the most part it was a hit. The game itself took a backseat to the fact that Barclays will be the Isles home in two years and this was the first taste fans were getting of the new building.
Did the building have some quirks? Yes. There were obstructed views. In the upper level the seats were steep and walking up the stairs did feel a bit like climbing a mountain. The main concourse was wide a spacious, but the upper level concourse was smaller. That being said, it was still better than Nassau Coliseum’s concourse.
The fact that there were no seats behind one goal, was a real non issue, to me at least. After a while you didn’t even notice it, and as a matter of fact there were fans sitting behind the goal they were just in the upper level. Or they were sitting at the VIP tables by the glass down low.
The video board, which was off center, was another non issue. Like many reporters saw last thursday on the team’s opening day of camp, the fact it’s over the blue line and not center ice isn’t that big of a deal.
Travis Hamonic probably summed it up the best during post game. “Everyone talked about the scoreboard, but if it wasn’t for you guys talking about it I wouldn’t even noticed how it was centered,” he said.
The LIRR trip will take some time for fans to get used to. Prior to game, trains were packed with Islander fans which is a good sign to see people at least trying the train. If Mets, Yankees, Jets, Giants, Knicks and Ranger fans can do it… I think Islander fans will manage as well.
Sight lines are going to be the big issues for games at the Barclays Center going forward. Consensus seems to be in the lower level the view was fine, but up higher is where the mixed reviews came in. The fans I spoke with, casually, all seemed to like building and didn’t have a problem with the view. But some on social media have been very vocal about their displeasure about the view.
This will be an area the Barclays Center will have to address, but with two years to fine tune things there they do have time.
The only complaint on the players end was the ice conditions.
“The ice was a little rough out there,” Kyle Okposo said after the game. “The puck was bouncing a lot, but that will come with experience for them and the crew.”
Matt Martin agreed the ice was bad, but chalked it up to being just the second time the ice has been used.
“it was the first game,” he said. “People have only skated on this ice twice, so it was the first time anyone has played here. They have a few years to iron that stuff out…. I think they do the best they can with it. It’s obviously not an easy thing, so I thought they did pretty well over all.”
Okposo Takes Stick to Eye
Last night Kyle Okposo left the game after catching a stick to the face in the third period.
His left eye was a bit swollen after the game and had to receive a few stitches after the, but he said he was fine. “It feels alright. Just a little sore,” he said.
The Isles special teams unit needed some work. They had chances on the power play, but couldn’t convert. And their PK had some issues.
“We gave up two power play goals,” head coach Jack Capuano said. “We just got out of the box on the face-off, but there are some things we need to work on special teams, for sure. It’s something that we’ve talked about. We’ve hit on. Next week will be a big week for us as far as hitting a little bit more stride on some of those areas.”
On the man-advantage Capuano placed Matt Moulson, John Tavares and Okposo on the first power play line, with Lubomir Visnovsky and Frans Nielsen on point. Josh Bailey, Colin McDonald and Matt Martin played on the second unit, with Matt Donovan and Pierre-Marc Bouchard playing point.