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Rangers and Islanders battle for NY surpremacy

By: John Galletley

The Islanders and rangers played for the last

The Islanders and Rangers rivalry will likely continue in the playoffs as they battle for supremacy in the Big Apple.

New York sports have been in a rough patch outside of hockey. Both NFL teams have top 10 draft picks, the Knicks have the worst record in the NBA, the Nets and Devils are outside of the playoffs, the Mets are coming off a 79-win season and the Yankees are looking like they’re rebuilding this year. New York sports fans are desperate to look for a bright spot and a potential new king of New York for now. The bright spot has luckily been the Rangers and the Islanders with them battling for the crown of New York and a potential Stanley Cup.

The Rangers went into the Nassau Coliseum for the last time in the regular season on Tuesday night to face the Islanders with the Metropolitan Division at stake. The Islanders had the return of Kyle Okposo (who missed 22 games due to an eye injury) to look forward to in this game on top of the rivalry atmosphere. The game itself was fast-paced with very clean play. You could tell you were watching two of the best teams in the NHL. After a goal by Anders Lee put the Islanders up 1-0, Kevin Hayes answers in the second period with an unbelievable effort goal while keeping his balance despite getting hit by two Islanders. With the game tied at one, the game-winning goal is ultimately one that was very unfortunate for the Islanders with a shot from the blue line by Rick Nash hitting off an Islander skate with the puck getting deflected a path directly into the net.

Cam Talbot had a big game as usual for the Rangers in net with 29 saves including one where he shut down a breakaway by Josh Bailey late in the second period. He has been fantastic for the Rangers leading them to a 12-2-3 record since Henrik Lundqvist went down. It’s safe to say he has surpassed expectations for the Rangers. Some fans were concerned the Rangers would potentially fall out of the playoff picture with Henrik down. Now the Rangers are potentially looking at winning the Metropolitan Division.

Both teams are competing with different long-term strategies to stay competitive. The Islanders are starting to lock down their talented defenseman with extending Nick Leddy to a seven year, $38.5 million contract while also talking to Johnny Boychuk about doing the same. Meanwhile, the Rangers traded for a talented defenseman in Keith Yandle. They also acquired Chris Summers but these came at the cost of younger players in Anthony Duclair and John Moore. It seems that the Rangers are entering an all-in mindset for the short-term to win a Stanley Cup while the Islanders are confident that they have a roster that can stay competitive for years, perhaps even this year for a Stanley Cup.

These two teams are two of the best in the NHL and could potentially meet up in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. A playoff series between these two teams has a lot of positives for the local area. It can draw attention for hockey in New York, revitalize the Rangers-Islanders rivalry and not only decide which strategy is better to win a Stanley Cup but also determine which team is truly the King of New York.

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Want to talk sports? John Galletley is the man to go to. He has been following sports of all kinds since he was a child but had a first love for baseball being in a family of Yankees fans. He also loves to travel and has used sports in order to do this including taking several road trips to MLB stadiums and other sports venues. John has always dreamed of working in the sports world and wants to make his way there as a writer in order to follow the philosophy of never working a day in your life if you love what you do.

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