Speaking from experience, that has a lot to do with money. I like 5 sports. I can't afford Giants tix (though maybe on stubhub, if I'm lucky), but that still leaves me 4 teams I would like to watch live. If I'm gonna spend money on a game, I'm more likely to go when the team is good. I also try to save up for a couple of playoff games some seasons.
Absolutely. For the prices Wang charges, it's no wonder they haven't drawn. He raised ticket prices following the lockout. If I remember correctly, the Isles' SMG arena deal was an albatross. I don't think they get any revenue from concessions. Now that Ratner beat out MSG (good), he's planning to fix up the Coliseum and wants the Islanders to stay through 2015. AHL Bridgeport is expected to move there. Assuming that happens, the Isles will have their farm team playing in their old barn if they still move to Brooklyn.
The Islanders fan base hasn't disappeared, but I don't think it's grown all that much. And sure, anyone over 40 is going to say that Islanders-Rangers is the real rivalry (much as Flyer fans of that age or older think their rivalry is with the Islanders too), but the Devils and Rangers have met 4 times in the playoffs since the Islanders and Rangers last played in the post-season against one another.
True. They were just in hiding waiting for a competitive team. Having played four series since '94, it helped boost the Hudson rivalry immensely. Especially in the stands. If you count that weird 7-game series in '92, that's half a dozen over two decades. Not coincidentally, the teams have split including the Conference Finals. I think for the older fan, it's different. The Islanders are that family member you can't stand. The Devils are more like a sibling you compete with. Me and my brother used to have classic battles playing NHL '94. The intensity was classic. When he was the Rangers and I was the Sabres (seriously), we were enemies. You guys have the "Rangers suck" chant. We got our favorite "Mar---ty." It's good fun. When Brodeur no longer plays in these games, it's going to be a sad day. I'll miss him.
You completely missed my point. I was just making fun of the average sports fan who trashes the Penguins, Blackhawks, Bruins, Capitals or Kings fan for being bandwagoners. I don't blame any fan for not going to a game when your team sucks. It's not fun to pay a lot of money to see your team lose night after night. And I also think it is great that those teams are selling out every game of the season now. That's all that matters. As for the Isles, I always said I am shocked the Isles could even draw 7000 fans when the team sucked all those years. That is damn impressive. Pretty sure any team in the league say for the Leafs and Habs would have close to the same attendance, if they were as bad as the Isles have been over the last 30 years.
My bad. Of the teams you mentioned, the Pens and Caps are the ones who make my blood boil. Pittsburgh because a good chunk of their fans still give Jagr crap. I'll bet half weren't even around when he and Lemieux won those Cups. Jagr is one of the greatest Pens ever. But because of how it ended, they turned on him. They really couldn't afford him anyway. I feel like they're spoiled. The NHL saved that franchise twice. Crosby wouldn't be a Pen and they'd probably be in Kansas City. As for the Cap fan, something about them irks me. Maybe it's because the Rangers have played them quite a bit. I've always hated them since the classic Patrick days. John Druce and Dale Hunter. As for teams that still draw regardless of their standing, hockey is religion in Montreal and Toronto. Say what you will about Philadelphia but their fans still support them. If you dig a little further, Detroit struggles despite their streak. A lot of it has to do with the economy. Fans can't afford it. I actually feel sorry for the people who live there.
The Islanders make the playoffs for the first time in 6 years in a 48-game season and they're 'back'. I love it. Its cute.
They have a good offense. Adding Clutterbuck makes them even tougher. Martin finishes every check and McDonald has proven capable. They brought in Bouchard to replace Boyes. That'll be interesting because PMB's production leveled off in Minny. He'll likely start with Tavares. Strome is probably a year away. The Islanders are banking on Donovan or de Haan to make the blueline. The top pair of MacDonald/Hamonic are their shutdown tandem. Visnovsky will need to replace Streit's production on the power play. They probably don't have enough D stability and goaltending. But they'll be hard to play against.