This night a Curly haired woman with glasses named "Stacy" was already set up in the last row of press row seating. She looks up and to her left and raises her hand in friendly wave as two more reporters make their way to her row. The man, who was wearing a dark colored suit and glasses, has a credential with name "Brad" on it. The woman appears to be shorter than Brad, but with heels on she picks up a few inches. Her credential had the name "Dee" on it.
The two quickly unpacked their laptops and headed back down the hall to press lounge to grab a quick bit before the game began. Stacy quickly joined them as they began down the narrow passage. After about 10 minutes passed, a larger gentleman made his way into the press row and began unpacking. "Gary" was the name on press pass that dangled around his neck. Moments later, another person made their way in and quickly unpacked his laptop while saying hello and catching up with Gary. His name was "John."
Down on the ice, the players began heading off the ice and back to the locker rooms. The time until the game began had reached less than five minutes and the trio of writers that had left to get food was visible on the horizon with drinks in one hand and a cup full of popcorn in the other. They found their seats and said their hello's to the new faces that arrived during their absence. The game was minutes away now and the Islanders introduction video was playing. While this was going on, an Islanders staffer walked down and handed Brad the lineups for tonight's game.
On this night it would be John Tavares, Matt Moulson and Kyle Okposo starting for the Islanders along with Travis Hamonic and Andrew MacDonald on defense.
After a rendition of the U.S. National anthem was performed by a local high school choir and wounded NYPD officer Kevin Brennan was honored by the Islander organization, the game gets underway.
As the fans below sit and take in the game, the scribes in the press box are busy tweeting game updates, taking notes and chatting with one another about what's going on. A couple minutes into the period, Gary nudges John and says with a smile, "did you see that sign over there," pointing to a fan sitting in the far right corner of the arena with a sign that has a negative message for Capitals head coach Dale Hunter. Hunter isn't well liked by Islander fans; during the 1993-playoff series between the two clubs he took a cheap shot at one of the Islanders star players. John quickly picks up on the sign and lets out a loud chuckle. They are both quick to jump on twitter and make note of the sign.
On the far left some snickers can be heard as Dee and Brad catch on. Attention quickly turns back to the action on the ice when a Caps player is slow to leave the ice after blocking a shot by Islanders defensemen Milan Jurcina.
"Guess that's (Jurcina's) plan to winning this game. Pick off Capitals one player at a time with his shot," said Brad with a grin. The Islanders would strike pay dirt, scoring the games opening goal 8:45 into the period off a wacky shot.
"Was that Moulson's goal or did Tavares get a piece of it," John inquired. "It's hard to tell," responded Dee. "Looks like they're giving it to JT." On the right, Stacy was quickly snapping pictures of the guys on the ice celebrating.
At the end of the first period the Islanders had a 2-0 lead. Travis Hamonic netted a power play goal in the closing seconds of the period. The group jotted down some thoughts down on their laptop and finished off last second tweets and stood up to stretch their legs. All, but John, headed down the hall towards the press lounge.
The lounge at the Coliseum is medium sized room with several large photos of one side and a glass window that looks out onto the Coliseum ice on the other. Brad, Dee and Stacy stop at the food line and pick up a piece of cake, before heading over to a table underneath a picture of Rick DiPietro. The conversation is casual. Dee is talking about her two dogs and about how they're giant menaces. The story strikes a funny bone in Stacy and Brad and their laughter booms over the other conversations going on in the room full of reporters. The scene around them is like one out of high school cafeteria.
At the wall stands Howie Rose, the Islanders play-by-play broadcast announcer along with his partner Butch Goring and Newsday reporter Arthur Staple all discussing the events of the game. At a table across from them are several capitals reporters that' seem to be discussing where Peyton Manning will sign as a free agent. One is "100 per cent sure that he will sign in Miami." This scene repeats itself across the room with different people and topics, but ends when the second period is about to begin.
The period ends with the Islanders still leading 4-2, but the optimism among the writers is less than high. A blown lead is nothing new to this team. "(The Capitals) have (the Islanders) right where they wanted," Brad joked as he began to stand up and head off to the lounge again. John and Gary nodded in agreement with half smirks on their face. Dee quickly flashed him a dirty look.
The intermission ended and the game was back on for the third period. An early goal by the Capitals in the period sent the group of writers quickly to their laptops to tweet out the latest information. "Well this seems very familiar," Stacy called out. "How many games have we been at where this has happened? This is unbelievable," Gary replied frustrated. Eventually the Capitals tie the game and Dee quietly mutters a few words of frustration. John looks up and says, "I called that. Ovechkin man, he does it every time to us."
As the period progresses, the chatter among them is who will get the game winner (for the Capitals); their optimism wasn't that high for an Islander win. Late in the period a female Islanders' staffer, probably just 19 or 20, heads over and hands Brad several piece of paper for the writers to jot down their three stars of the game. John nudges Gary and says, "the Islanders always have such hot women on their media staff." As he motions his head in the direction of the staffer, who has now turned and is headed back down the long hall.
Back on the ice the period ends with both teams tied at four. The overtime period doesn't solve anything and the Islanders eventually lose in the shootout.
Brad and Dee start to leave their seats. John looks over at Gary and informs him that he had forgotten his voice recorder at home and isn't going down to the locker room for interviews. Gary is also passing on post-game interviews. Their night is over. Stacy had started walking down to the locker room when the overtime period started. A couple weeks back she had tripped walking down from the press box and hurt her hand. Since then she leaves her seat early to arrive safely to post game. Brad and Dee travel through a hall to a door that leads them to 300 section of seating. They make their way down the steep steps and through fans leaving the game. One fan yells over to them, "Tell Garth (snow) and Charles (Wang) thanks for another (bad) season."
They make their way down to arena floor and over to the player tunnel. They walk in stand with the rest of the reporters and cameramen waiting for the media staff to open up the Islanders' dressing room to reporters. The room is opened moments after the two arrive and, like a herd of cattle being usher into a holding pen, media members enter.
The room is a rectangular one with player stalls around the entire room. Today there are only a few players in the room willing to talk to reporters. Everyone crowds around forwards Moulson and Tavares looking for answers as to what went wrong. The heard of reporters wraps up and heads to the press conference room to hear what team head coach Jack Capuano has to say. It's not much. Two questions are asked and then the reporters disperse.
Dee has here stuff all packed up and she says her goodbyes to Brad and Stacy. The other two have to head back up to the press box to gather their things.
The duo make their way past to the Islander locker room, down a hall, past the Capitals locker room and up a ramp that leads to the concourse of the arena. They hop on an elevator, which takes them back up to press box. Brad quickly packs his laptop and heads home for the night. He says a good bye to Stacy and heads back down the hallway to the elevator. Stacy stays behind to write her game story and post the pictures and video she took from the game and post-game.
After all is said and done she packs up as well and finally heads home. The first one here is the last one out.