New York hockey is far from ideal right now. The market is even being stolen by the red team from New Jersey right now, however, like all great battles, the show must go on despite all struggles.
By: John Carroll Jr.
The New York Islanders beat the New York Rangers once again on Thursday night. For life-long Islander fans it is the top result, however, neither team really won anything this Thursday night, not yet. Yes, they play games, yes, they fight hard but both teams are in for a rude awakening,
Okay, the Rangers are openly rebuilding and the Islanders are openly showing no direction of winning of losing again but the game still goes on, and both teams still hate each other.
I constantly push the narrative that I want the Islanders losing out.
But what blows my mind the most is the fact that the New York Rangers are still a real hockey team. No open letter to fans, shuffling around vets for younger talent, or even playing the Islanders changes that.
But that is just it. The Rangers, and their fans, have so many reasons to look into a rebuild. The biggest factor is that it has been a while and the true fans, or any fan, can learn what it is like. They can finally enjoy learning about prospects. Finally, love the draft.
The New York Islanders, the Rangers’ de-facto little brother, will do the same but in a way more bitter way. Their pre-season was hyped with playoffs and players who will emerge onto the main scene.The actual season ended with the franchise in John Tavares playing with one foot out the door for five months and his replacement, Mat Barzal, getting benched for no good reason.
Hockey in New York is weird right now. Yes, the Islanders won Thursday night. Of course, both teams will watch the playoffs from the couch. But now, my focus in this rivalry has turned into who can rebuild better.
Whether it is next year of five from now, the real winner of this rivalry is going to be who stinks for the shortest.
Zero cups have been lifted in this state since 1994. Both teams have loyal fans and a unique style.
As an Islanders fan and journalist, hockey in New York is a mess. As a hockey journalist in general, this will be an interesting battle.
Isles vs Rangers rivalry has a brand new tale. Who wins the rebuild? It has been too long since this was an issue. The Islanders always seem lost but seeing that the Rangers have work to do is new.