Rumor has had it recently that the Islanders will be participating in the NHL Stadium Series in the 2023-24 season. That rumor was officially confirmed by the NHL on Saturday evening. They’ll be locked in as the host team playing against their crosstown rivals in the New York Rangers.
Where and When?
The Rangers/Islanders Stadium Series game is set to take place on Sunday February 18th, 2024 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. No start time has been announced yet but given the history of outdoor games in the NHL it’ll likely be an early afternoon puck drop.
The Islanders will be playing in the second of two games taking place at the venue. The Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils will be playing in the first game the day before. These two games will mark the first two NHL games ever hosted at MetLife Stadium.
Second Stadium Series Game for the Isles
This won’t be the first time the Islanders have played in this kind of atmosphere. In the 2013-14 season they played against the Rangers at Yankee Stadium as part of the Stadium Series. Unfortunately that game did not go particularly well for the Islanders, losing at a 2-1 final score.
Brock Nelson was the Islanders’ only goal scorer with Evgeni Nabokov making 32 saves in the loss. Nelson will be one of five possible Islanders to play in both editions of the Stadium Series games. Casey Cizikas, Matt Martin, Cal Clutterbuck and Josh Bailey may also participate in both games barring any offseason changes.
New Jerseys in New Jersey
One of the staples of outdoor games in the NHL are the unique jerseys. Participating teams tend to create new spins on their team jerseys specifically for usage in the big game. The jersey the Islanders created for their first Stadium Series appearance was a big success. It featured the NY hockey stick logo with a blue base that became the premise for their third jerseys that they often wear at home.
Now with another Stadium Series appearance lined up the Islanders will again create an alternate version of their jerseys. There’s a number of directions the team could choose to go in for their new design. One idea being floated around amongst fans is bringing back the orange base that was last used in the 2006-07 season. It’ll be exciting to see what the Islanders come up with as we inch closer to the event.
An Atmosphere Like None Other
The rivalry between the Rangers and Islanders is one of the most intense in the NHL. Every time these teams take the ice they play a competitive game with no love lost between the players and the opposing fanbases. Bringing that to a stadium that has a capacity of over 82,000 is going to create an absolutely electric atmosphere. This Stadium Series game presents a really great viewing experience for all fans of New York hockey.
Featured image courtesy of NHL.com
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