New York 3, Pittsburgh 2: AL ARBOUR # 740

New York Islander Fan Central | 11/03/2007 10:38:00 PM | | | |

Islanders Website: Has the recap on the Islanders 3-2 comeback win for Al Arbour's 740Th win as an NHL head coach on what was an incredible night.

ITV: Has Al Arbour's eight minute press conference after the game with Ted Nolan.

Islanders Website: Also had some fantastic pictures of Al Arbour and the game.

NYI Fan Central Comments:
Normally I spend this space to talk about the game which I will do tomorrow in a separate blog. Beyond the comeback that made you wonder if the ghosts came back to the Nassau Coliseum to haunt Pittsburgh once again for tonight this blog will talk about the show the New York Islanders put on and what it meant to see Al Arbour behind that bench again for me. I have posted a lot of articles, video and will do more of that but I have not shared my personal thoughts about Al Arbour as a hockey fan.

I cannot get the smile off my face as I write this. I'm so happy for him as a fan that he had one more night like this and will go out a winner forever now.

Al Arbour did not look out of place on that bench in his familiar spot and at times I found myself forgetting this was a special night as he leaned in and talked to players or had his paper in his hand and he seemed to go right back to his spot behind the bench out of instinct.

Once again you could see the presence Al Arbour has behind a bench and as I worried if the team could win this game for him and felt older, Al Arbour seemed to get younger and even more involved. He did not look like a seventy five year old man who could not stand through a ceremony less than two years ago with leg problems that kept him in a wheelchair. I was shocked to see him walking up stairs at the Coliseum at practice the last two days and privately wondered if he could last the entire game standing this week. I was amazed to see him walking on the ice between periods but it was like he was twenty years young.

I saw the man who accomplished more than any coach in the history of pro sports in terms of team victories. Only team in pro sports history to win nineteen straight playoff series, last team to win four straight championships in any sport. An organization that won because of it's heart, character and the class of the people running it that made it a team that was unique and never about the individual which is why they won like no other team and as long as they did.

For the younger fans reading this blog you got a look at what New York Islander tradition means tonight. Incredible first class show put on by the organization tonight from top to bottom after a game result you could not script any better. The class of Al Arbour, Bill Torrey, the championship and community alumni and people like Scotty Bowman and Pat LaFontaine.

SNY had Neil Smith on live television praising Al Arbour tonight.

For a minute I saw that confetti coming down and the building going wild with the players on the ice and for a second I found myself thinking of the past cup celebrations with the current team and what it would be like if it happened again.

In the old days players did not do a group photo with the cup so that was not a tradition when the Islanders were champions.

The New York Islanders did something tonight I have not done in countless years, they made me think a Stanley Cup was possible here again someday.