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With two games versus the Rangers this week, the Isles stand poised to spoil their playoff party

As the Isles season comes to a close with young players taking more and more minutes, one interesting thing has developed. The Isles might hold the key to the Rangers fortunes. The Rangers, Bruins and Flyers are knotted up at 91 points. Meanwhile, the Washington Caps are still alive with 88 points trying to ply their grip onto an perch, hoping that one of those teams continues to falter. Buffalo sits behind the Caps, still alive after a big win over the Bruins.

There is nothing more enticing than mucking up the Rangers attempt to hold onto a spot. With two games, one at MSG and the other at home, the Isles have good opportunity to cause their rivals some anxious moments.

The Rangers lie as a conundrum this season. On paper, they should have been on top of the division. Instead, they struggled at times. They might be more dangerous than some others in the east simply because they are multi-dimensional. The goalie, when on, is excellent. The offense has lots of different weapons. The defense, well, when on their game, is more than adequate. Still an Achilles heel in my opinion. Still misses that top guy and leader.

So, the fact the Isles sit on their path, as the 6th thru 8th all are up for grabs, could be good impetus for the vets and kids to come together as much more than simply a speed bump.

Back in the preseason, a hot straight-from-Moncton Islander team lit up the Rangers in a game filled with fists and blood. It was the kind of passion that really gave them momentum into October's early success. This week is an opportunity to find that edge. To come out and make a statement about their future and redefine themselves. Some soul-searching might be needed. Because that team that came out the gate has been long-gone. But with three division games to end the season, against the Devils and then two against the Rangers, comes the ability to make their lives miserable.

That's some pretty good inspiration. Sharpen those fists and elbows. It's clobbering time.

Filed Under:   Islanders   Devils   Rangers   NHL  
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