The New York Islanders Skated Their Way Into My Heart And Now, They're One Of My Favorites
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The New York Islanders Skated Their Way Into My Heart And Now, They're One Of My Favorites

I started liking them as a back-up team. Now, they're much more than that.

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The New York Islanders Skated Their Way Into My Heart And Now, They're One Of My Favorites
@NYIslanders on Twitter

I was born and raised in a Buffalo Sabres household, always wearing blue and gold and supporting the team no matter what.

When I say no matter what, I mean no matter what. That includes an awfully long playoff drought and horrible season after horrible season.

The Sabres were three points out of making the qualifiers at the pause caused by COVID-19 in March.

It was later announced that the standings for the season at the pause would mold the playoffs, leaving the Sabres out.

What team would I cheer for now?

I watched countless hours of hockey when the season resumed. I watched almost 9 hours of hockey each day just to get a feel for each team. By nature, I knew the Toronto Maple Leafs weren't going to make it far and as a Sabres fan, supporting them is essentially forbidden. I have a distaste for the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the same goes for the New York Rangers.

One day a team presented themselves on my TV screen: the New York Islanders.

The Islanders were never projected to make it as far as trying to qualify for the Stanley Cup. After having a fiery season and having such a roll, they made it to qualifiers, shocking everyone.

Originally, it was the location that caught me.

They were another New York team for me to cheer for that I had nothing against. I wanted them to succeed. Then, it was a few of the players that held my attention. Their mascot is also a dragon named Sparky, which is pretty freaking cool.

The Islanders are a semi-young team with smooth skating, can read the ice well, have trouble using a power play, an underdog spirit and a passion for each other and the game.

I became intoxicated with watching them play and I adored the excited celebrations when they scored.

Their underdog enthusiasm and love of the game compelled me. I became ecstatic and overjoyed whenever I would hear "Right Back Where We Started From" by Maxine Nightingale, the song they played every time they won a game and moved to the next round of the playoffs.

The team was never projected to make it to the Eastern Conference Finals, but they made it.

They played against Tampa Bay Lightning. They forced a Game 6 that could have tied the series, but fell short in overtime and lost. I was still proud to have watched and adopted this team play this far because they worked so hard to get to the ECF, something they hadn't done in 27 years.

The team skated their way into my heart at the beginning of playoffs, just so I wouldn't be left without a team. Now, I'm proud to be an Islanders fan and proud of everything the team did this season.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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