The 2002 Renaissance

(4/29/02 - Written in response to a request on the Isles homepage asking "What does this season mean to you?")

I'm 18. I was born about six months after the Islanders' last Stanley Cup win. Before this season, my best hockey memories were the 1993 playoffs, but even those memories are foggy, as I was only nine at the time. In fact, all I really remember is that the game I was at went into several overtimes, and that I stayed up later than I had ever stayed up before - until 1AM.

Since then, it's been tough. Dale Hunter has earned a black mark in my book, along with Spano and Millstein & Co. Need I even mention the fisherman? In my mind, the 1994 playoffs never occurred - being swept by the Rangers, scoring perhaps three goals in the series, and watching the Rangers win their first cup in fifty four years? No, I'm still in denial.

I've listened to the chants change from "Nineteen forty!" to the new classic "The Rangers Suck!" a la the Chicken Dance. I've seen the jerseys change from the traditional blue and orange to teal and silver accents, and back to the classics. I've watched the crowd go from 4,000 a game to selling out half the regular season. And now, I've witnessed the best season in my memory.

Above all, thanks go to Mr. Wang and Mr. Kumar, our saviors. Peter Laviolette deserves a lot of credit, as does Mike Milbury (though, I still say "Mike must go" every once in a while). But don't forget who's actually playing the game, giving their all and giving us a darn good show as they do it - the team. Thanks guys - we're behind you all the way.

Mary Ev****, 18, M********