Saturday, January 23, 2010
Big difference between two teams
It's easy for us to hate the Islanders because that's in our blood. Potvin Sucks! Islanders/Rangers is a great rivalry that brings out plenty of passion on both sides. It's what Battle of New York stands for. Two bitter rivals since the Islanders' inception in 1972 where the intensity spills over into the stands. Sometimes albeit irrationally. The games take on a whole different meaning. With all due respect to the Devils who are in a battle with the Long Island club, there's only one true rival for our club.
Hint: It's the one who's wearing the nice traditional dark blue and orange jerseys. What separates them from the Rangers is how hard they compete daily under the leadership of Scott Gordon, who should be in the mix for the Jack Adams if they get in the playoffs. He has done a magnificent job, getting his cohesive group to believe. Just a look at how organized that power play was, converting not once but twice on Colin White's major tells the story. Scary to say but they easily could've had four on it against one of the league's better defensive teams. Such quick passing and actual battles being won in the trenches to keep plays alive. Hungry players putting on their hard hats getting dirty.
When has our power play ever been like that? There in lies a big part of the problem, explaining why there's such a big difference between these two teams. One fights for every inch of ice, sacrificing all the time as evidenced by not allowing the Devils one shot in 20 minutes before Zach Parise got a lucky bounce right off Freddy Meyer to tie it, ending New Jersey's decade PP drought. Kyle Okposo- who tied the game and assisted on Jack Hillen's PPG- felt his team didn't come to play in the first which the Devs led on captain Jamie Langenbrunner's early tally. Imagine any Ranger saying that. So, they came out gangbusters outplaying the Devils by a wide margin. Sure. They're tied as they begin the third due to a tough break. But do you think it will stop them from giving everything ounce to earn victory, moving past a lifeless Ranger club down 5-zip in Montreal on HNIC no less?
Hell no! Because that club cares which can't always be said for the pathetic guys wearing the white, red and blue jerseys tonight. Too often, that's been the case. So, we might loathe the Islanders but it sure is a lot easier to respect them. They care!