In our Playoff Preview edition, we asked one blogger following the Rangers and one following the Islanders to have some fun at each other’s expense. To our delight, they didn’t play nice.
By Dominik Jansky of Lighthouse Hockey:
To say Rangers fans were born on third base thinking they hit a triple would be an insult to nepotism: their blue-blooded forefathers have hit one triple since 1940, and even that exhausting trip required a bunch of uncles from Edmonton to do the pinch running. Yet like an embarrassing, fumbling son whose rich father pretends he doesn’t exist, Rangers fans boldly stagger around town with hollow bluster, as if their club has contributed anything to hockey over the past 75 years beyond bloated payrolls, retirement packages for fading stars, and miraculous job security for Glen Sather.
The Rangers are New York’s media darlings – if being the seventh-most-popular team in one’s home is “darling”-worthy – purely by virtue of geographic convenience. That all changes when their rivals bring their own superior, impressive history to Brooklyn, and media don’t have to trudge out to Nassau to get quotes from New York’s best player, John Tavares.
For now, Isles fans can enjoy one last hurrah in a raucous Nassau Coliseum – birthplace of the only dynasty New York will ever see, and home of the majority of New York’s Stanley Cups since the Great Depression. Rangers fans must be content to tell themselves the new sky bridge at the sterile Madison Square Garden, the “World’s Most Self-Congratulatory Arena,” is somehow worth the $1,000 tickets, the gutting of the 300s section and the loss of their soul.
At least they’ll always have Matteau…if he can still afford to get in the building.
By Mike Murphy of Blueshirt Banter:
The Islanders are giving their fans a nice treat by making the club’s last season at the Coliseum an Irish wake instead of the cataclysmic, all-consuming funeral pyre that would’ve been far more appropriate. Next season, the steadfast crew behind the Gorton’s Fisherman will leave the NHL’s second smallest arena for the new second smallest arena, in Brooklyn…where exactly zero percent of the locals admit to being a part of Long Island.
When Isles fans aren’t standing like meerkats trying to see the action in a building that in no way was designed to host hockey games, they’ll continue to make the hatred of the Rangers a load-bearing part of their identity and express a shameless pride when they manage to be louder than visiting Blueshirts fans in their own arena.
The Islanders will appear in the playoffs for the third time since the 2004-05 lockout, which will mercifully give their fans something to do other than call for the heads of their coach, GM and owner. Luckily for them, the team managed to add a top ‘D’ pair on clearance sale before the season and trade for a goalie who didn’t refuse to report to the club!
Things sure are looking up for the Empire State’s other team (even Buffalo knows that Buffalo doesn’t count), which goes to show you that if you fail long and badly enough and somehow avoid being exiled to Kansas City, you might just survive to draft a Tavares and put yourself in a position to advance past the first round for the first time in 22 years. What an inspiration.
This is feature appears in the Playoff Preview 2015 edition of The Hockey News magazine. Get fun features like this one, and much more, by subscribing now.