The New York Islanders and Rangers are two balls at opposite ends of a rope that never want to travel in the same direction at the same time.
After the Islanders Trotzian surge to conference finals the past two seasons, they’ve crashed and missed the playoffs for the first time since Lou Lamoriello took over and made his best hire.
So of course that means everything has gone right for their rivals, who are not only headed to the NHL pla[REDACTED] but are actually in the hunt for a division ti[REDACTED]. All the Isles can do is kind of dent that roll a little. Also: The Rangers haven’t conceded a goal in three games...so they’re due I guess.
Adding to the strange feelings, I actually root for Gerard Gallant — who’s been hosed in multiple NHL stops — and am not surprised to see him turn the Smurfs around. So this is weird.
Anyway, tonight we’ll see if the home side can win for the first time in this season’s series.
Neil Best, filling in for Andrew Gross for Newsday, reports Semyon Varlamov will be back in net for the Islanders after missing the last five.