Who, when and where: New York Islanders at New York Rangers, Tuesday January 21, 7pm. Madison Square Garden; New York, New York.
This weeks Mc’s Pick is a no-brainer; Isles vs Rangers at the Garden. The best intra-metro area pro-sports rivalry get renewed again. The Isles may be the cellar dwellers of the Metropolitan division at the moment (a situation that sees them only five points from a playoff spot, to demonstrate how tight the East is this year) but that takes none of the juice out of this match-up. Both teams are playing incredibly well as of late, both winning seven of their last 10 games. The Rangers are currently second in the Metro division solidly entrenched in a playoff position and starting to really hit their stride as a team.
Even if you aren’t a hockey fan, this is a game you should check out. Both teams boast world class players; the Rangers are sending seven players to Sochi for the Olympics, the Isles four of their own. Casual observers would be wise to pay close attention to perennial Vezina trophy contender Henrik Lundqvist, Rick Nash and Ryan McDonagh for the Blue shirts and last year’s MVP finalist John Tavares with line mates Thomas Vanek and Kyle Okposo for the visiting Isles.
I expect this to be a gritty game which will be a fun watch even for a impartial observer.