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Islanders fans throwing beer cans at their own players: stupid, awesome, or awesomely stupid?

June 24, 2021

In fairness to New York Islanders fans, throwing stuff on the ice is not exactly a foreign concept in the NHL. We throw hats on the ice for a hat trick. Red Wings fans have thrown octopuses, Predators fans catfish, Panthers fans Brad Marchands rats. If stuff being thrown on the ice offends you, you've either never experienced it in person or you're just a huge buzz kill.

Having said that, this is a new one. Following their epic Game 6 comeback victory in overtime against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night, Islanders fans threw beer cans, some of them very likely full, on to the ice while their players we're still celebrating the win. Eddie Olczyk, who was calling the game, represented every non-Islander fan watching when he basically wondered what on earth was going on:

Did he go a bit overboard? Maybe. Is he wrong? Absolutely not. Naturally, Isles fans, not the sharpest tools in the shed, as you can see, began calling him a wet blanket on social media. But again, he's not exactly wrong. If a full beer can clocks one of their players in the head, then what?

Now, those same half-brained Isles fans will tell you the players are wearing helmets, which somehow in their brains makes it OK to pelt them with full cans of beer. Where normal people come from, it's usually never a good idea to throw full cans of beer at each other, but hey, LI gonna LI. 

Another argument, in favor of the fans, is that this is potentially the final game at the Nassau Coliseum, should the Isles go on to lose Game 7. It was highly intense, highly emotional, and it ended in batsh-t crazy fashion, which in turn led to this batsh-t crazy celebration. Again, though, how that makes it OK to whip full cans on the ice doesn't make much sense. All you need to know about this whole thing is the players quickly exited the ice, and one of them, Cal Clutterbuck, was fending off cans with his stick as they continually rained down. Anthony Beauvillierm who scored the game-winner, basically said it was a dangerous environment on the ice as he hid in the walkway to the locker room while conducting a postgame interview with NBC. 

When your own players and fans of every other team are saying it was a stupid move, and you're the only ones defending it, it's probably a stupid move. But at least it's a stupidly awesome memory,  I guess? Wouldn't be a bad way for that trash arena to go out, too, with trash all over the ice.