For one more year at least, it's still the same old Nassau Coliseum. But the team the Flyers will face Monday night on Long Island is anything but the same old Islanders.
The Islanders (14-6) have won eight of nine and are fresh off a home-and-home sweep of the Penguins. They are currently tied with Pittsburgh atop the Metropolitan Division and are stirring up memories of the glory days of Mike Bossy and Denis Potvin in their home arena's final season.
Mark Streit, who served as Islanders captain from 2011 to '13, is not surprised by the turnaround.
"That was their whole plan, to go and rebuild through the draft," Streit said after Sunday's practice at the Skate Zone in Voorhees. "Johnny [Tavares] is a top-five talent in the league. For us it's going to be a really big challenge."
Tavares, the 2009 No. 1 overall pick, has 20 points to lead an Islanders offense that ranks third in goals per game (3.20).
No team has more wins all-time over the Islanders than the Flyers (129). Barring a meeting in the playoffs, it will be the Flyers' second-to-last visit to the Coliseum. The Islanders will move to Brooklyn next season.
"Obviously it's a little bit older and outdated, but there's a lot of history in that building," Streit said. "It was a great experience. It will be very special to go and play there tomorrow. I have a lot of good memories."
The Islanders started playing at the Coliseum in 1972. It is the second-oldest, and second-smallest, active arena in the NHL.
"I remember the playoffs there, and it was pretty crazy," said Andrew MacDonald, who played for the Islanders until last season. "It's a small crowd, but there's not a bad seat in that building. It's a pretty exciting place to play when things are going well."
Notes. Craig Berube spoke before practice with Luke Schenn, who was benched for most of the third period on Saturday, but said it was a private matter. When asked whether Schenn, who practiced with Carlo Colaiacovo, would play Monday, Berube said: "We have eight [defensemen]. We'll see."