Islanders Have Unfinished Business With Caps

@Shannon_Hogan

When I signed on at MSG Networks to cover the Islanders I knew I was in for an adventure. The past year and a half has been fun, but also a lot of hard work.

I’ve spent countless hours chatting about hockey with friends, at the rink with fans or, heck, even on the LIRR and subway!

But it’s about more than just hockey. While covering the Islanders, I get the chance to experience things most people don’t and there are plenty of stories worth telling.

Now, I’m excited to share some of that with you. Each week I’ll take you inside my life as an NHL reporter. My hope is for you to get a feel for the team and the players like I get to see them. In addition to being amazing athletes on the ice, they’re simply regular guys off it.

I’ll write about life on the road, the fun and crazy crew I get to work with, and take you inside NHL rinks across the US and Canada. I hope you’ll learn something new each week and laugh a lot along the way.

This week is stranger than most during the season. Three days “off” (without a game) doesn’t happen often, so I’m taking advantage. I caught up on my sleep Sunday night after the Isles’ 6-5 win. But when I woke up Monday, I realized I had way too much laundry and almost nothing in my fridge aside from carrots and some moldy lettuce.

Don’t judge me.

So I went into catch-up mode. Laundry, food shopping, nails, gym, cleaning my apartment, and calling all my friends who I haven’t talked to in a week because I’ve been working non-stop.

Today, I’ll turn my hockey brain back on and start diving into the next game: Islanders vs. Capitals (Thursday 6:30 PM, MSG+). I can’t believe the season is almost halfway over and yet it’s the first time these two teams are meeting. However, the Caps are a team still fresh in the minds of the Islander players.

I can’t really describe the feeling after Game 7 last season. I know the fans were crushed. When the final horn sounded, I had a pit in my stomach. I looked at Mike Bossy and we both kind of nodded our heads. That was it. Season over.

nyi-vs-wsh_20160104

When I walked into the dressing room to interview the players after talking to Head Coach Jack Capuano, you could hear a pin drop. Each player I saw had a similar expression: A combination of exhaustion and disappointment. While it may sound a bit cliche, the players really left it all out on the ice.

After the game, our crew realized the season was over just like that. It was almost a surreal feeling and we were blue like the rest of Isles Nation.

Fast forward to this week and I know what the players and coaching staff are thinking about: Winning.

Thursday the Isles host the Caps at their new home in Brooklyn. I don’t know how the game will end, but I do know there will be a lot of emotion out there on the ice. The Isles have unfinished business with Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals.