The New York Islanders are enjoying tremendous success at Barclays Center this season where they have yet to lose in regulation.
One of the things their fans came to depend on is their consistent ability to win games at the Nassau Coliseum. “Fort Never Lose” became a deathbed for opponents coming in to play the New York Islanders who were not only intimidated by the hall of famers they lined up against, but also the raucous fans that filled the building.
This year, the Isles have returned to the days of “Fort Never Lose” through their first nine games of the season. On Wednesday, the Islanders continued their streak of being the only team in the NHL who has yet to suffer a regulation loss at home.
Josh Bailey scored 32 seconds into overtime to give the New York Islanders a 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. Bailey continued his impressive start, posting his fourth three-point game of the season. That was his sixth game since last season recording three points or more in a game, something he did just seven times total the first eight years of his career. His 26 points lead the team and his 21 assists are tied for the second most in the NHL.
Bailey is enjoying the success he has had this season. He is easily on pace to best his career-high 56 points he reached last season.
“We played well and made a lot of great plays,” Bailey said. “It’s fun, but most importantly it has been about winning,” the 28-year-old forward said, via AP.
Along with Bailey, Matthew Barzal continued his exciting rookie campaign with his fifth goal. Barzal is one of four Islanders who currently has 20 or more points on the season.
The Islanders are one of only four current NHL teams that feature four players with 20 or more points (Tampa Bay, St. Louis and Dallas are the others).
The Islanders improved to 7-0-2 at the Barclays Center this season. Despite all the hoopla around where the team will play their home games in the future, the Islanders have shown they are comfortable so far in Brooklyn.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) November 25, 2017
Rumors have the New York Islanders co-owners Jon Ledecky and Scott Malkin interested in building an arena Belmont Race Track, which New York State recently accepted proposals to redevelop. The owners said the team would continue to play at the Barclays Center for at least the next two seasons, despite the fact the arena was not built for hockey.
The Islanders have until Jan. 1 to forge a new deal with Barclays and, if no new deal is reached, either side can opt out of the current deal by Jan. 30. The Islanders could choose to leave after this season at the earliest; if Barclays Center triggered the opt-out. However, the Islanders would not have to leave until after the 2018-19 season.
Most fans would like the Islanders to return to the Nassau Coliseum, but NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is on record as saying the 14,000 newly renovated stadium is not viable for an NHL team.
No matter where the Islanders eventually wind up calling home, they have shown the rest of the NHL that right now the Barclays Center is the new “Fort Never Lose”.