So, our beloved Islanders couldn’t buy a game in late December and early January. The team seemed to have lost the plot of the season. They showed none of the fire of the early season and seemed to start their losing streak right after Belmont announcement. Speaking of the Belmont announcement, despite other writers on this site, saying that Long Island is filled with assholes, it could not be a better thing for the NHL and the Rangers that the team is moving back.Now about that loss of plot. Looks like the Islanders have found a bit more of that grit.
Linda Cohn, first an Isles fan and now a Rangers fan said when asked on a recent podcast that the real rivalry for the Rangers is the Islanders. That was evident this past weekend when the rafters of the Garden echoed with the chants of Yes! Yes! Yes! for the Islanders as they busted out a whuppin’ stick an proceed to beat the Rangers silly with it.
— NHL (@NHL) January 13, 2018
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 13, 2018
With both teams in the GotDamn tough Metro scraping to stay in the wild-card hunt it was a perfect set up for the teams to put on a good show. Unfortunately for the Rangers and their fans it just turned into preview of the next Calder trophy winner. Mat Barzal racked up five points for the second time this season. I big enough feat on it’s own, much less for a rookie! For reference, there have been 9, five point efforts this season and he owns two of them. Flashing back to the first meeting of the teams and Barzal’s first NHL goal, I was struck once again by Barzal brushing aside the overpaid, aging, but beloved Rick Nash as he blew past him. Seemingly saying: Hey Old Guy, F*&K You, it’s my turn now!
— noah (@noahcb_) October 20, 2017
Maybe not, but barring injury we might be witnessing the birth of a superstar, or the second coming of Denis Savard. Really! I am not sitting you. See for yourself,. They handle the puck in the same way and frustrate the shit out of defenses with the ability to weave around them looking for the right pass.If you aren’t familiar with Dennis Savard, look him up.
None of this takes away from the fact that the Islanders and the Rangers are in a tough division. There are no guarantees for a team that gains 100+ points in the season. The Islanders are consistently top 3 in the NHL in Goals For, but bad on the PK, bad on defense and turn the puck over too often. So, as Bette Davis once said: “fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride”