18 August 2011
The Islanders and MSG network have changed the game being aired this Friday during the Islanders viewing party from the 2/11 “brawl fest” against the Penguins to the 2/13 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
Stu Hackel broke the news on twitter and has an article up on SI.com.
According the article the Islanders made the decision to contact MSG network to change the game “sometime this week” after the team was taking heavy criticism from outside media. Islanders team spokesmen Kimber Auerbach was quoted as saying, “That game is behind us and we want to look forward.”
Of course no will be happy with the decision, Islanders will complain that the team shouldn’t have had to listen to anyone and held their ground. Penguins fans will continue to make comments and complain about what they perceived as thuggery that night. The only happy party may be the mainstream media that will applaud the decision as a move to not sully the Islanders image or the league’s image.
Though the decision to change what game will be aired tomorrow night this close to the viewing party was odd. At this point you might as well just air the damn thing.
In reality it wasn’t the NHL, the Penguins or the Islanders who began or ended this whole melo drama, melo drama that seems more like the drama of two high school girls or something you’d see on the Jersey Shore. What started the whole thing was lunacy, some could even say stupidity.
When first looking at what game was going to be played at this Isles “meet up” you could see the trouble on the horizon. Penguins fans have not let the 2/11 game go and when they caught wind of this they’d pounce like a shark that smells blood in the water. This was the inevitability and predictable they did.
Expectedly were the insults from the Penguins blogs and fans and the back and forth between the two fan bases. Hey, it’s the middle of August and there is no hockey news people have to stay busy somehow.
That is where the lunacy began; making a mountain of a molehill is the best analogy to use for this. Soon larger outlets like NBC’s Pro Hockey Talk picked up on the story and the lunacy grew. Then CNN and ESPN’s Around the Horn talked about it. USA Today and Sports Illustrated had stories on their websites. Ray Sherro, Penguins GM, was even asked about the viewing party during his press conference to talk about Sidney Crosby and the NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly even had to make a comment about it. Shockingly President Obama wasn’t available for comment.
Point being it became a bigger deal quickly for no apparent reason other than it being a slow Newsweek. Lunacy quickly took control and while there are larger issues for the Penguins media, national hockey media, and the NHL to focus on they decided to highlight how the Islanders were “celebrating” what took place that game.
Lost in that game was the outstanding goal scored by Michael Haley and John Tavares, Matt Moulson and Michael Grabner all hit the 20-goal mark.
Also calling what happened in that game an embarrassment to the league is hard to come to complete agreement with. What Trevor Gillies is hard to defend; there is no doubt about it. However, in speaking with friends, who are non hockey fans, they expressed that if hockey games were more like the one against the Penguins then they’d watch hockey more or start watching. Now this is not saying that they would need to be as violent or as out control as that night, but it did seem to create some interest from friends I spoke to.
But that is beside the point.
The fact that so many people have taken so much issue and exuded so much anger over a viewing party is madness. For better or worse the Islanders have made the decision to change up the game that will be aired tomorrow night at their viewing party. Hopefully we can all focus on the season now and let the lunacy come to an end.
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