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Wednesday, November 21, 2012
While the turkeys met in Manhattan today, game #18 of the season should have been played tonight.
Thanksgiving Eve has been a traditional home night for the Isles and based on results BTL (Between the Lockouts) let's just say it would be a good night for the Nets to play at home starting in 2015.
The Isles at played at home on this night 15 times since the 1994 lockout wiped Thanksgiving off the NHL calendar, missing only 1999, 2004 (lockout) and now 2012 (lockout). After going 5-0-2 between 1995-2002 (losing in OT to Theo Fleury and the Rangers in 2000 and tying (remember those) Ottawa two years later), the Isles have gone 1-4-3 in the last eight (including 1-3-3 since the last lockout). You'll recall last Thanksgiving Eve, when Daniel Briere scored the tying and winning (OT) goals after the Isles had an early 3-1 lead. A locked-out Alan Hahn tweeted afterwards "DiPietro was loss for words (rare) for those ridiculous bounces that led to goals".
Game 18 is an interesting reference point, because that means the Isles were scheduled to play 64 games after tonight -- which is equal to the intra-conference games under the current schedule format.
Will we get anywhere close to those 64 games? Who knows. The issue for the NHL and for the players should be the growing sentiment among fans and sponsors of "who cares".
At least there's football tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving.
Forever1940 is the nom de plume of Eric Hornick, statistician on Islander home telecasts since January 21, 1982. Visit my blog: NYISkinny.com and follow me on Twitter @ehornick