Buzz Builds Around Islanders-Rangers Stadium Series Matchup

Thursday, 08.8.2013 / 8:45 PM ET / 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series
By Travis Betts
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Buzz Builds Around Islanders-Rangers Stadium Series Matchup
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Excitement filled the air as members of the New York Islanders, New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils and NHL executives met at Yankee Stadium Thursday to discuss the 2014 Coors Light Stadium Series.

The three New York metro area teams will take center stage in January, 2014, for the first hockey games ever at Yankee Stadium. The Islanders host the Rangers on January 29, three days after the Rangers and Devils battle on the same sheet of ice.

Taking the field at shortstop, looking toward the stands behind home plate, Islanders forward Matt Moulson forecasted the buzz around the Stadium that would cone from 50,287 frenzied fans as the teams walk from the dugouts to the ice.

“I'm sure I'll probably have a couple butterflies in my stomach,” Moulson said. “I don't think I've ever played with a crowd this big. It'll be exciting and hopefully we can feed off that energy. No matter where we are in the standings, it's always a great game with us and the Rangers. I expect nothing less for this one.”

The Wednesday night showdown will be telecast nationally on NBC Sports Network. Forward John Tavares believes the national exposure gives the up-and-coming Islanders a prime opportunity to represent Long Island on a bigger stage.

“It sure will be a great event not just individually, but as a team to showcase where we want to get to and where we're headed,” Tavares said. “Growing up with backyard rinks and ponds in Canada, it's going to have a special feeling. To be playing in New York, at Yankee Stadium – we probably won’t realize just how special it is until afterward or maybe during the game while we’re taking it all in.”

Islanders General Manager Garth Snow, who was one of the keynote speakers at the press conference, drew a comparison between the new Yankee Stadium, with all its amenities and state-of-the-art features, and how playing hockey outdoors will take players back to their roots.

“As a former player, a lot of my memories as a child are of playing outdoors,” Snow, who grew up in Massachusetts, said. “Whether it was a lake or a pond, those memories are something that you always cherish. I know our players are extremely proud and happy to be playing in an event such as this. It’s an extremely exciting time for the New York Islanders organization and for our fans.”

Tavares also tied the upcoming Stadium Series games to his hockey upbringing in Toronto.

“Me and (Edmonton Oilers forward) Sam Gagner grew up together. His dad had built a beautiful rink in his backyard and I was over there three or four days a week. On Saturdays we would practice together on our minor hockey team and then head straight to his backyard from noon until 8-9 o'clock at night. You couldn't feel your fingers or your toes. Those were the days where you evolved your skills and your passion for the game.”

The passion will be on full display when the puck drops between the Islanders and Rangers on January 29, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. Only Islanders full and partial plan subscribers will have exclusive access to tickets for the once-in-a-lifetime event. For more information on becoming a Season Ticket Holder, CLICK HERE.

VIDEO: FULL PRESS CONFERENCE | READ: LOCALS EXCITED | GAME TIME CHANGE

SCHEDULE

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PROMOTIONAL

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 PIT 76 42 23 11 210 190 95
5 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 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 CBJ 76 37 35 4 210 234 78
12 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
13 NJD 77 31 33 13 170 197 75
14 CAR 76 28 37 11 176 208 67
15 TOR 77 29 42 6 201 245 64
16 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

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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