The New York Islanders went from potential playoff contenders to looking towards next season within 48 hours earlier this week.
Having the best team in the Eastern Conference coming into your building after being shutout in their last game, isn’t what the doctor ordered.
After two terrible performances against Ottawa and Buffalo on Monday and Tuesday, the Islanders welcome in their cross-river rivals the New York Rangers on Friday Night.
The Rangers are leading the Eastern Conference with 81 points, 7 points ahead of both New Jersey and Boston. They travel to Long Island after being blanked by the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-0 on Tuesday night. Henrik Lundqvist continued his stellar play making 29 saves in the losing effort. After an 8-1-1 stretch, the Rangers have lost two of their last three games.
One of the exciting things about the NHL All-Star Game, and perhaps, it's uniqueness so to say is the fact it touches back on our childhood.
Remember the days of playing pick-up hockey, or sports for that matter. You throw your sticks into the circle and someone would randomly toss a stick to each side and that would be the team you played for that day.
Well, unfortunately there will be no sticks in the ring but the sentiment is still there. Tonight at 8 PM, the NHL will hold it's second All-Star Game under the new formula: a draft-style that enables two captains to choose which all-stars they want on their squad.
The All-Star Game is meant to be fun, not competi...
As Claude Giroux’s beautiful backhanded flip went over the shoulder of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, Philadelphia’s Winter Classic seemed like it would be a total success. The Flyers had taken a 2-0 lead on Giroux’s team-high 18th goal in front of their home fans. In Citizens Bank Park, the majority of almost 47,000 people were ecstatic.
With just 5:39 remaining in the second period, the Flyers were in the driver’s seat to victory.
Instead, they let the Rangers sit behind the wheel for the last 35 minutes en route to a 3-2 New York victory.
Mike Rupp scored his second goal of the season just 30 seconds after Giroux’s pretty tally which brought New York within a goal after two periods. A little under three minutes into the third period, Rupp doubled his season goal total and tied the game at 2-2.
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.
It’s difficult not to acknowledge the Winter Classic these days.
With the annual outdoor event slowly creeping up on us, the collective mind of the hockey world is obsessed with the outdoor showdown that will be taking place in Philadelphia on January 2nd.
With all the networks gearing up their coverage, Friday night’s game between the Flyers and Rangers had a different tone than a game in late December typical has had in the past.
While all the major networks played up the fact that it was the final meeting prior to the Classic, many forgot to mention that the game was more than just a hype machine for the mega event a little over a week away.
This game also decided who would go into the holiday break with control of first place in the Atlantic Division as well as first place in the Eastern Conference.
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.