As the Garth Snow front office era embarks on its eighth season heading the New York Islanders, many believe that the rebuilding period is over and the Isles time is now. The last seven years have been tough for Long Island’s team as about the only thing that seemed to be consistent was finishing last in the division and having the lowest payroll in the NHL. Both of these things took a turn for the better last season as Islanders made the playoffs and finished 28th out of 30 teams in payroll.(flickr/IslesPunkFan)
It was milestone night in Philadelphia, but unfortunately for them, the milestones all belonged to the Rangers.
On a night where three Rangers reached impressive plateaus, the Flyers hit rock bottom. They dropped an embarrassing loss to the Rangers, losing 5-2 to knock them down to 14th place in the Eastern Conference.
The win for New York was the 400th career win for their head coach, John Tortorella.
Derek Stepan had a tremendous game for the Rangers, putting up a dominating four-point night.
(Pictured: Rich Nash is defended by Ruslan Fedotenko. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
Andrew MacDonald might be considered a player that flew under the radar for many teams. After all, he was drafted in the sixth round of the 2006 NHL Entry draft primarily because Ted Nolan was currently the head coach and had worked with him previously with the Moncton Wild Cats of the QMJHL. Had MacDonald been without a connection to the New York Islanders organization, the team very well might not have drafted him.
Since joining the Islanders organization, A-Mac has become one of the top-four blue liners on this young team for a number of reasons. Although he would like to improve his offensive input from the back end, something he did very well while with the Wild Cats (he score 58 points in 2007), his shot blocking has been an invaluable asset.
Not a lot of people expected the Ottawa Senators to be one of only two Canadian teams that managed to make the playoffs this season. In fact, in the "normal" NHL universe, the Canadiens and Sens would probably be in each others positions. The Sens started the season with people assuming they were at the beginning of a rebuild, with GM Bryan Murray half-blowing things up the prior off-season. But then something happened. The Sens top players started playing like... well... top players. Alfredsson was on his game as rumors of retirement grew bigger and bigger. Jason Spezza became a dominant center once again. And the...
On Christmas Eve Saturday, New Yorkers everywhere tuned in as the New York Giants faced the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Despite getting off to an excellent start, scoring a touchdown on their opening drive, the Jets looked very much like the weaker of the two teams all game long. They could not find a big play when they needed it, and made key mistakes – none larger than Victor Cruz’s 99 yard TD catch – which cost them the game.
On Monday night at Madison Square Garden two Atlantic division rivals faced off, and again New Yorkers tuned in to watch their teams compete. This time it was the New York Rangers facing the New York Islanders. And despite a few stretches of the game where the Islanders looked to control the play, the reality is that like the Jets, they played their part of weaker team to the Rangers for the majority of the game.
The Islanders are heading into the Big Apple to face their archrivals, the New York Rangers. Coming off back-to-back shootout wins (courtesy of Frans Neilsen and his patented forehand-backhand-top shelf move), the young Isles team is carrying a bit of momentum into the World’s Greatest Arena. They are playing with more confidence and finding ways to win hockey games.
This is a good thing. Because they will need every ounce of momentum, confidence, skill, (and maybe even a little luck) to leave Madison Square Garden with 2 points against the Rangers in tonight’s contest.
The Rangers (with 3 games in hand) are currently tied for 2nd in the Atlantic Division with the Pittsburgh Penguins, as they each have managed 42 points so far this season.
After a disappointing 4-1 showing against Anaheim, the Phoenix Coyotes rebounded nicely against the Edmonton Oilers, winning that game by a score of 4-2 after having fired 42 shots at Devan Dubnyk, ending a three-game skid in the process. Tonight, a rare visitor enters Jobing.com Arena as the New York Rangers and the Coyotes face off exactly a year and a day since the Rangers rallied to take the December 16th, 2010 meeting in a shootout, 4-3.
The Rangers are coming off a 4-1 loss against St. Louis but are 6-3-1 in their last ten games. After this game, they move on to New Jersey, then play host to the Islanders and Flyers before heading to Washington and Flor...