A sold out arena. Fans tailgating for hours before the puck drops. Mike Bossy and Brian Trottier on the ice. Ear-splitting decibel levels.
All of the above were present at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday (10/3) night. Except for a small pocket of Penguins fans sitting in the last few rows of one end, it seemed as if all of Long Island was on hand to see something special.
And they got everything they wanted. Almost.
The pregame excitement was tempered just a bit by the news that Charles Wang still hadn't received his 'Yes or No' from the Town of Hempstead. The parties will meet face to face next week. As long as the sides are talking, there is hope for a positive outcome.
So there was that, and also a new kid in town. #91. John Tavares. Playing on the same line as Kyle.
And the odd thing was that they played together really well. Surprisingly well. As if they had been teammates for years. Despite the fact that one man was making his league debut and the other had experienced a concussion that wiped out almost the entirety of his preseason.
With newcomer Matt Moulson centering the two, Tavares produced a goal and an assist while Kyle plucked an assist for himself. And it could have been more.
The Islanders held the lead on the Pens twice, but in the end it was just too much Sidney Crosby. Early on, and then later in the shootout. A 4-3 overtime loss was the outcome.
But despite the disappointing result, many fans flashed ahead in their minds to the future. A future when the arena issue is settled, and one where other teams worry about being beaten by too much Tavares or Okposo.
For the complete boxscore and recap, please click here.