My favorite NHL team is the New York Islanders, with the Chicago Blackhawks coming in second place in my book. Growing up in Upstate New York there aren’t many Islanders fans or Blackhawks fans for that matter. As a kid my two favorite players were Pierre Turgeon and Steve Larmer, who when I was in sixth grade were with the Isles and Hawks respectively (although Larmer would hoist a cup with the Rangers a few years later). That year I saw my first NHL game, a match in Boston between the Blackhawks and the Bruins. Chicago won, and my brother’s favorite player Jeremy Roenick scored his 50th goal. Unfortunately, they lost the Stanley Cup to the Penguins in four games and it would take a long time for them to get back there. Right now, they’re attempting their third Cup in five years. I hope they can pull it out. Still, I’d really like my Islanders to do it. Although I’m not a Long Islander, I think it’s sad they’ll be relocating to Brooklyn and I fear that the owners may rebrand the team and that seats will be prohibitively expensive (not so sure about the former, but certainly the latter). Hopefully someday Long Islanders will have their beloved team back in Nassau County, but in the meantime, it will be nice to see how they do in the next few years with the young team they have that played so well this year. In honor of the fastest game in North America, and with excitement about being able to play some hockey myself tonight, here are some shots I’ve taken around the ice the last few years.