The number of Islanders games left at Barclays Center — ever — may be down to three.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to be at the Coliseum on Saturday to announce that the Islanders’ potential playoff games this year and all 41 regular-season home games next year will be played at the Coliseum, according to Newsday. That will lead them into the 2021-2022 season, when their new arena at Belmont Park is expected to open.
The Islanders played their first-round playoff home games against the Penguins at the Coliseum last year, but then had to trek to Barclays Center for home games in the second round against the Hurricanes. This season, the Islanders are playing 28 of their 41 home games at the Coliseum. They only have three games left at Barclays Center, the final one coming March 22 against the Hurricanes.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has said the Coliseum is “not a major league facility,” despite undergoing renovations since the Islanders last played there full-time. It seats only 13,917 compared to Barclays Center’s capacity of 15,795 and does not have nearly the amount of executive suites as the arena built for basketball in Brooklyn.
“If the Islanders were to have a deep playoff run . . . it could provide us with monumental challenges we couldn’t overcome,” Bettman said at the NHL All-Star weekend. “So we’re staying a little flexible.”