It’s not going to be old home week, but it will definitely qualify as a warm Saturday night holiday homecoming for Detroit Red Wings center Frans Nielsen as the Wings faceoff against the New York Islanders at Nassau County Coliseum.
“I’m excited,” Nielsen said. “I never thought I was going to play there again. So I’m not going to lie, I did look at the schedule when it came out to see if we were going to play at the Coliseum or not. I think it’s definitely going to be different than playing there in Brooklyn.”
Nielsen, 34, sent his first decade as an NHLer on the Island before joining Detroit as a free agent in 2016.
“Yeah, I was there for a long time,” Nielsen said. “You scored your first goal in that building. There’s a lot of firsts there. Your first playoff experience was in that building so you had a lot of great memories from there.
“Absolutely, going back there, it means a lot to me, that place. It’s fun to go back. I think it’s awesome that some of these young kids in here get to play a game there. It’s very similar to the Joe. It’s really loud.
“Now when they came back again, the fans are a little more excited there, I heard, and it’s a playoff atmosphere every night they’re playing there. So it’s going to be a fun game. I’m looking forward to it.”
Though Nielsen wasn’t personally part of it, the formative years of the Islanders franchise were spent there.
“You know, the Joe was old, too, but it’s special to everyone in here,” Nielsen said. “I think it was just the same there, There is history. They won four Cups and you still see those guys.
“Not for us, but when you talk to fans around there, that place meant so much to those people in the heyday when they were winning. It was old and it is old. But it’s just like the Joe. It’s a pretty cool place. It can be loud. Those old buildings really get louder than the new ones sometimes.”
Dylan Larkin’s goal Friday against the Ottawa Senators extended his points streak to six games.
Larkin has recorded 4-5-9 totals during his six-game run of success.
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