New York Rangers (3-6-0) at New York Islanders (4-4-3)
|Date & Time||Tuesday October 29, 2013, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: New York Islanders -116 / New York Rangers +105 --- Over/Under: 5.5
The Battle of New York takes centre stage on Tuesday night as the Rangers head to Long Island to take on the Islanders in the first meeting of the year between these former Atlantic division rivals.
The Rangers had the unfortunate task of playing their first nine games of the season on the road and as you can expect they didn’t fair too well as they went 3-6 during that stretch and played in their lone home game of the year last night against the Montreal Canadiens. In what was supposed to be a nice homecoming for the Blue Shirts quickly turned sour as the Habs dominated the play and left MSG with two huge points leaving the Rangers scratching their heads with confusion. The Rangers are coming off a season in which they made it to the Eastern Conference semi-finals before bowing out to the Boston Bruins and while they underwent a face lift in the offseason they still have a ton of talent. However, they’re four games under .500 heading to Long Island to square off against one of their archrivals who have committed to going for glory this season.
The Islanders have been a league doormat for what seems like the better part of two decades with their only playoff berth in recent memory aside from last year’s surprise appearance resulted in a similar first round exit. However, with last year’s success acting as a framework the Isles have built confidence and now look like a team who can compete for not only a playoff spot but for an Eastern Conference crown. New York added long time Sabres forward Thomas Vanek to the fold for at least the rest of this season illustrating to fans that they’re serious about making a charge this year and having another scoring threat alongside John Tavares makes this team that much better. I really like the Isles this season as they are a scrappy bunch that always seems to find themselves in competitive games and now they get the Rangers in a back to back while on home ice in Vanek’s debut. Love this spot for the blue and orange.