How bad can it get for the New York Islanders? Apparently much worse.
Looking to shake another losing streak this season, the Islanders dropped a 5-4 decision on Long Island Saturday night to the Atlanta Thrashers.
Bryan Little got the game-winner for Atlanta with 8:25 remaining in the contest, as New York remains stuck with the worst record in the league (5-17-5, league-low 15 points).
For the Islanders, Rob Schremp, Matt Martin, Matt Moulson and Blake Comeau tallied goals, but once again it was not enough. Goalie Rick DiPietro registered 31 saves, as the Islanders have now dropped five straight since a Nov. 26 win over New Jersey.
Making the contest even more painful for the New York faithful, was the fact that some 1,100 hockey fans known as the Nordiques Nation journeyed from Quebec to Long Island to see the contest.
The group is trying to make a point to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman that Quebec deserves a new team, replacing the one that departed for Colorado years back. The message is simply that attendance for home dates in New York and Atlanta this year is miserable.
As it stands at this point in the season, the Thrashers and Islanders are 28th and 29th, respectively in NHL attendance. Only the Phoenix Coyotes average worse with some 10,189 per game.
Ironically, the Nordiques Nation helped increase Saturday night’s crowd at the Nassau Coliseum to 10,056.
The Islanders lease at the Nassau Coliseum expires following the 2014-15 season.
“There are a lot of variables that go into why the attendance isn’t there right now and obviously winning hockey games is a big part of that, but there are other ingredients as well, the tough economy and so on,” Islanders GM Garth Snow told NHL.com. “But for us we need to win hockey games and get our fans back in the building.”
With the way the Islanders have been playing this season, some of their fans may expire too.
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Written by Dave Thomas