The Islanders held their morning skate at IceWorks in Syosset on Thursday and might make that a permanent part of their game-day routine for the rest of the season.
They previously held all of their morning skates and meetings at Barclays Center, and the players stayed in a Brooklyn hotel during the day.
“It’s obviously been a big change this year going to Brooklyn and we’re trying many different things to see what works best,” John Tavares said. “This allows you to spend more time at home, to feel like you are at home when we are playing at home. And I think mostly that’s what it’s about, to reduce some of the travel.
“It’s our first time through the process this season. We’re working out the kinks and trying to see what works best. At this point in the year, I think as a group, this is what we feel will be good for it.”
General manager Garth Snow, coach Jack Capuano and the players have had conversations since the start of the season about how to handle the logistics of living and practicing on Long Island and playing in Brooklyn.
All of the players on the roster live on Long Island, and the call-ups stay on the Island as well. In the team’s first season in Brooklyn, taking the Long Island Rail Road into the city in the morning and spending the day in hotel rooms hasn’t been comfortable.
Nevertheless, the Islanders are 13-7-2 at Barclays Center. Before Thursday night’s 4-1 loss to the Capitals, they were tied for the third-most home points in the Eastern Conference.
On-ice results are most important, so if the Islanders falter while holding morning skates at IceWorks, the practice regimen could revert to Brooklyn.