Monday, January 26, 2015

The Rivalry: Rangers vs. Islanders - III

From the desks of:

The Rivalry - III

Islanders lead series 2-0
I - NYI 6; NYR 3
II - NYI 3; NYR 0
III - The Blizzard of 2015

Tuesday Night
New York Rangers
New York Islanders
Where the Lighthouse Project Should Have Been Built!
Long Island

* * * Snow Storm Permitting * * *

New York Rangers: Blueshirts Might Want To Start Growing Their Beards A Little Earlier Than Usual.

This Team is One Cheap Shot Away From Losing Their One Big Shot.

Along with Anaheim and Detroit, the Blueshirts are 8-2 in their last ten games, and looking to extend a 3-game win streak.

They are winning 61% of their games, owning a 27-13-4 record, good for 58 points.  

They're 6th in the Eastern Conference; Washington is 7th with 57 points; and Boston is 8th with 56 points.

They are tied with the Habs in the Eastern Conference for the least goals allowed.  However, they only rank fourth within their own division in goals scored.

The Rangers are running in a pack, and the saying is - only the strong survive.  There are 38 games remaining in their season.  They may get to the regular season finish line thanks in large part to a weak field, but, at some point they're going need more grit and grind in their game.

March looms as a pivotal month in their season.

For now, there's Tuesday's first game back after the break (if Mr. Freeze let's them play).  With a victory, the defending Eastern Conference champs can edge to within 3-points of the Metro Division leading Islanders.  

Their prospects for success improved Monday, when it was announced Kyle Okposo will miss the next 8 weeks with an injury.  

Bad break for the Isles; physical relief for the Rangers.

The last time they met, the Islanders held a tutorial on how to slow down the Rangers.  In both their previous meetings this season, the Islanders defeated the Rangers by 3-point margins, as Long Island's distinct size advantage weighed heavily in both outcomes.

New York Islanders: I Thought Everyone Was Taking A Break; So What The Hell Happened To Kyle Okposo?

Coach Capuano said what?

Kyle Okposo will miss the next 6 to 8 weeks with an undisclosed upper body injury.

The injury possibly occurred Monday.

In 46 games played, Okposo is the the Islanders second leading scorer with 44 points; one behind John Tavares.  He has 14 goals, and leads the team with 30 assists and 154 shots on goal.  

His absence also negatively affects Long Island's power play.  Okposo had 4 goals and a team leading 12 assists on special teams.

Ryan Strome and Brock Nelson are the team's second and third leading scorers.  Strome is second on the team with 25 assists, and Brock Nelson's 15 goals are second to John Tavares' 21 goals.

This injury should take the Islanders into March.  There's going to be a price to pay.  Their job now is to minimize the damage.  However, good teams have players who step up.  It will be interesting to see who Coach Capuano selects as Tavares' new wing man.

That said, the Islanders are manned to withstand Okposo's injury, and recover any lost ground in the final month of the season (I think).

After Tuesday's game against the Rangers, the Isles have two big games against the Bruins and Red Wings.

As I said in my last post - now comes the hard part.  

* John Tavares scored four goals in Sunday's All-Star game.


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