With New York sports teams sputtering as of late, the streaking Islanders and Rangers are poised to provide New York with some sports entertainment tonight. The Rangers come back home to Madison Square Garden having won 13 of 14 games, while the Islanders are second in the Eastern Conference in points with 57, trailing the Tampa Bay Lighting. This game is for bragging rights, plain and simple. Tonight's game will involve a clash between Islander fans who are clamoring for relevancy again and Ranger fans who are not willing to give up the title as the best hockey team in New York.
Something has to give, and it is going to be a fascinating game to watch. This game has the chance to create a lot of buzz around the city, as it is the only game in town. New York basketball, baseball, and football are not relevant right now, so who will steal the show, the Rangers or the Islanders? It remains to be seen, but whoever does will have to be at the top of their respective game. As of now, these two clubs would play each other in the playoffs, and fans can dream, how fun would that be? Both of these teams are filled with speed and great goaltending, and seem to be evenly matched.
Another thing to watch is who will take over New York as the guy on the ice? Will it be Center John Tavares of the New York Islanders or will Rick Nash's MVP campaign sway everyone into his corner? Bragging rights are on the line and it is going to be exciting to see which stars shine and which ones whiter under the pressure.
My Prediction: Rangers 3, Islanders 2. I'm rolling with the Rangers because they are on fire and there is no reason that they shouldn't keep up their tremendous play. The Islanders are tough and present a tough matchup with their speed, but it seems to be the Rangers time to make a statement. Henrik Lundqvist will play like a top 5 goalie tonight.