NEW YORK RANGERS vs. New York Islanders
The Rivalry - Game II
Somehow, the Islanders have created a goalie controversy for themselves with rumors they will trade Ivgeni Nabokov. The Isles have maintained three goalies because if you even look at Rick DiPietro the wrong way, he gets hurt. Apparently however, GM Garth Snow said there is no goalie controversy. But if I were Coach Capuano, I'd just make Al Montoya the starter anyway and call it a day. But at least the quasi-controversy has people even talking about the Islanders.
I mean, C'mon. The Islanders have scored the least amount of goals in the league. A goalie controversy? John Tavares and Michael Grabner have combined to score thirteen goals. The rest of the team has scored sixteen. They are now buried in last place of the Atlantic Division so it would seem to me they have more problems than a goalie controversy. They are 1-9 in their last ten games with a six game losing streak mixed in. Their lone win during that time came against Washington. They are coming off a three game road trip where they lost in Boston, lost a back-breaker in OT to Colorado, and dropped their most recent game Sunday night in Vancouver. Coach Capuano is pissed off about it too and let it be known.
For the Rangers, this is the start of a four game road trip. And they'll be looking to extend their six game winning streak in Long Island tonight. They will then go to Montreal, Florida, and Washington before returning home. They've taken care of business on home-ice so far with a 5-1-1 record. As they start this road trip against the Isles, they've held their own away from MSG with a 4-2-2 record.
After fifteen games, Marian Gaborik has nine goals. How do ya like him now? It almost makes us wonder even harder as to just what happened to him last season? Such as life.... In addition to his good start, it so happens Gaborik has some healthy numbers in his career versus the Islanders. We'll need another good game from Marian tonight, because while he might like playing the Islanders, the Rangers as a team might not. Long Island hasn't been too friendly to the Blueshirts these last two years. The last time they met this season, the Islanders defeated the Rangers back on Oct. 15th, in Long Island. And over our last four meetings, the Isles have woefully outscored the Blueshirts.
That brings us to Brandon Dubinsky, who finally broke the seal with his first goal of the season. Now, he needs to sustain what he started. Ranger fans have been patient and pleased with his maturation process these last few years. But now, the signed young Vet has expectations on him. The truth is, the Rangers, as has been our problem, need more scoring. And I'm expecting Brandon Dubinsky to provide more than just an average share. As young as this team is now, he needs to be one of the leaders here, and do that in part by scoring goals.
While the Rangers have scored fourteen more goals that the Isles this season, so far there are eleven teams in the Eastern Conference with more goals scored than the Rangers. Defensively however, the Rangers have given up the least amount of goals in the Conference even as Marc Staal remains sidelined. Coach Torts has to be happy with at least that....no?
The Rivalry; Game Two
NEW YORK RANGERS
New York Islanders
From the Nassau Mausoleum in Uniondale,
LONG ISLAND, N.Y.