But for the McGuigan family of Charlottetown, P.E.I., this game couldn’t have more meaning.
For them it’s a memorial.
Brendon McGuigan, 39, and his father Herbert Brent McGuigan, 68, were shot dead in August 2014 in a double homicide that shocked Prince Edward Island.
Alfred Vuozzo has pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder. He will be sentenced on April 13.
Brendon McGuigan was a huge Islanders fan. He was even buried in the team’s jersey.
He dreamed of seeing a game in New York, but he never got the chance.
On Jan. 29 at the Nassau Coliseum his family fulfilled that dream. Unfortunately, Boston beat the Islanders 5-2.
A world away from Prince Edward Island, in the glitz and glamour of the NHL, Islander defenceman Travis Hamonic understands what the McGuigans are going through. When he was 10 and growing up in St. Malo, Man., his dad died of a heart attack. Hamonic held his father’s hand as paramedics rushed him away. Ever since, before every hockey game, he has looked for his dad.
"Up in the left corner is where he was always posted watching and, you know, now I always ask God if he can let my dad watch and I look up to the left corner of the rink and for me that's just something that comforts me before the game and my one last prayer, and I know that God's letting him watch down."
The best way Hamonic has found to deal with his grief is to help others. So at every Islander home game he invites a kid whose parent has died, and their family, to be his guest.
This night, it’s the McGuigans.