'WE FELT LIKE PART OF THE TEAM'

Friday, 01.6.2006 / 12:00 AM ET / News
New York Islanders
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\'WE FELT LIKE PART OF THE TEAM\'
Season subscribers write of a road trip to remember

[Islanders VP Communications Chris Botta received the following email this week from Dave and Rich Birns, two season subscribers who won the chance to join the Islanders on a road trip. From the team charter to the team hotel, "backstage" looks at a morning skate and a road game, the Birns brothers said they lived the dream. With their permission, they have allowed us to share their letter]

My brother and I just want to thank you and the rest of the Islanders organization for the memories of the past week.  The road trip to Ottawa was an experience unlike any other.  We felt like part of the team, which is a dream to any sports fan.  The Canadian kids asking for our autograph was just an added bonus for regular guys like us.

Shortly after arriving at the hotel, we found Steve Stirling alone at the restaurant.  He was ordering a sandwich to bring back to his room to watch game film.  We said hello and expected him to be on his way, but he was sincerely interested in talking with us.  He let us buy him a drink (soda) and talked with us for almost half an hour.  It was an experience we'll never forget.  Coaches are usually not that approachable.  We are the insurance agents for two NBA coaches, and even we don't speak with them as freely as we did with Coach Stirling.

The broadcasters were also wonderful with us. John Wiedeman in particular made the trip even more exceptional.  He was the first one on the flight to say more than hello to us, and basically became our tour guide.  He took us under his wing during the morning skate as if we were working with him. Back at the hotel, we spent the better part of the afternoon with him, talking about the team, the league, his job and many other topics.  At the arena for the game, he went out of his way to make sure the Ottawa employees treated us like VIPs.  He treated us more like friends than prize-winners.

Your follow-up invitation to the press box for the home game against the Panthers was not necessary, but very much appreciated.  Seeing up close how John, Chris King, Howie and Joe do their thing was a real treat.  Allowing us to bring our wives up from the regular seats was the final clincher. They supported our fantasy week, and got a little taste of how special it was for us.  By the way, the broadcasters once again treated us like friends.  It was a special way to wrap up a most  memorable week.  And we won the game!

Feel free to invite us back any time.  Thanks again for everything.

Best regards,
Rich & Dave Birns

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - NYR 76 48 21 7 231 179 103
2 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
3 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
4 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
5 PIT 77 42 24 11 211 194 95
6 WSH 77 42 25 10 227 190 94
7 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
8 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
9 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
10 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
11 PHI 77 31 29 17 202 220 79
12 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 78 29 43 6 204 249 64
16 BUF 77 22 47 8 152 258 52

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 77 34 43 -2 77
R. Strome 76 16 32 20 48
K. Okposo 55 16 31 -11 47
F. Nielsen 76 14 28 8 42
B. Nelson 77 19 22 7 41
A. Lee 71 23 16 10 39
J. Bailey 65 15 23 3 38
J. Boychuk 67 8 25 9 33
N. Leddy 73 10 21 14 31
T. Hamonic 67 5 26 16 31
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 36 16 2 .913 2.42
M. Neuvirth 1 3 1 .881 2.94

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