Sports | June 24, 2021 11:08 am

Islanders Fans Close Nassau Coliseum in the Worst, Most Predictable Way Imaginable

After the Islanders won in overtime, fans pelted their own players with full cans of beer

The ice at Nassau Coliseum covered in beer cans following the New York Islanders win on Wednesday night
The ice covered in debris after fans trashed it following an Islanders win.
Bruce Bennett/Getty

Instead of throwing hats, octopuses or even catfish on the ice in celebration as some NHL fans are known to do, the puckheads at Nassau Coliseum pelted their own players with full tall-boy beers, White Claws and crushed cans after the New York Islanders beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 in overtime on Wednesday night to force a deciding Game 7 in their semifinal series.

If the Islanders win that game, they’ll move on to the Stanley Cup final and there will be at least two more nights of hockey at Nassau Coliseum. If they lose in Tampa on Friday night, the final image from the ice at the longtime rink will be the ice covered in debris after Anthony Beauvillier scored 1:08 into overtime to cap off an Islanders rally.

“I can’t understand this,” NBC hockey analyst and former NHLer Eddie Olczyk said as the scene unfolded live on TV. “This is dangerous for the players. This is your team.”

A little dangerous, a little dumb and covered in cheap beer. That is, or was, Nassau Coliseum.

“It feels amazing,” Beauvillier said of the aluminum shower following his goal. “That building coming into overtime was smelling like cigarettes, and now it smells like beer.”

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” star center Mathew Barzal added. “A little dangerous. But that’s the Islander faithful. We embraced it. They get excited, and it’s good stuff.”

Perhaps the players didn’t care about being pelted with beer missiles following the game and, hey, maybe they shouldn’t. They were happy, hopped up on adrenaline and helmeted. But fans chucking full cans of anything — beer, seltzer, soda — is not a good thing to let go unchecked.

In Boston in January of 2020, a 22-year-old fan from Everett was arrested, charged with disturbing a public assembly and banned from the TD Garden for life after he threw a 20-ounce can of Truly onto the court during a Celtics-Spurs game.

If the Islanders choose to go the same route with their fans, they won’t have anyone in the building for the Stanley Cup final if the team is able to win Game 7. Don’t worry, they won’t.