Pandemonium. Madness. Euphoria.
Fans of the Islanders were gifted a treat Wednesday night, as their team defeated the Boston Bruins 6-2 in Game 6 and advanced to the Stanley Cup semifinals. Owner Jon Ledecky joined the Isles faithful in the celebration.
Led by the Blue and Orange Army, the team’s most popular fan supporter section, the fan base was embarking on its post-win victory lap on the narrow Nassau Coliseum concourse. That is when Ledecky stole the show.
He greeted fans with hugs and took photos with those who asked. A crowd of hundreds mobbed the owner, with enough smiles and laughs to go around for everyone. A “Jon Ledecky” chant erupted seconds later.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” Islanders fan Jeff Melcer wrote on Twitter after the game. “We have needed this for so long and you have brought it back. Some of us have been praying for this for so long we can’t remember when we started praying. Team first, but best owners in pro sports!”
Ledecky’s commitment to Islanders fans has been obvious since he first entered into the ownership picture in 2014. This playoff run has further shown it.
The 63-year-old businessman and New York City native saw some fans at Borrelli’s, an East Meadow pizzeria and popular hangout for Isles fans, before Game 3 of their second-round series. Ledecky, who was sitting at an adjacent table, noticed their Islanders gear and suggested they should be leaving for Nassau Coliseum.
When the fans said they did not have tickets, Ledecky gave them a phone number to call. Hours later, they were at the game.
“It was my youngest son’s first playoff game,” Troy Eisner told Newsday. “You should have seen the smile on his face… Someone told me he does this a lot. He wasn’t doing it for publicity.”