With springtime comes two things: Playoff hockey and warm temperatures. The Barclays Center ice wasn’t a smooth sheet to begin with. Players vehemently complained after the season opener in Brooklyn on Oct. 9 and then again in the final two weeks of the season, when the soft ice and inability to complete a single pass without the puck hopping around drove the Islanders crazy.
The first playoff game at Barclays Center on Sunday night will be another test for a building still working out the kinks of hosting an NHL team.
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Dan Craig, the league’s ice guru, was in South Florida this past week to help the BB&T Center ice get in shape for Games 1 and 2, and he’ll be in Brooklyn to help with the ice Sunday night.
“This is the time of year when the humidity gets up there,” Jack Capuano said Saturday. “Garth [Snow] and everybody involved is doing the best they can to get the ice where it needs to be, and the last couple games, it was good.”
Barclays Center is hosting a two-day boxing event Monday and Tuesday, which could make Wednesday’s Game 4 an adventure. If there’s a Game 6 on April 24, it falls between two Bruce Springsteen concerts.
Kids are all right for Isles
Capuano didn’t sound inclined to change his lineup for Sunday night, which would mean rookies Alan Quine and Ryan Pulock would stay in.
“Those young guys, they’ve played well,” Capuano said. “Quiner’s played great.”
Steve Bernier would be the substitute at forward, but Capuano has gotten good work out of Quine, Shane Prince and Ryan Strome in the first two games.
Panthers rookie Rocco Grimaldi, who played one shift in the third period of Game 2, was sent to the AHL on Saturday and Logan Shaw was called up.