The battle of New York is set to take place for the first time tonight at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Islanders will be making the 40 minute trek from Long Island to downtown Manhattan to take on a Rangers team that hasn’t looked themselves yet this season. The addition of Rich Nash has not yet paid dividends and while he is getting a ton of ice time (about 21 minutes a game), he only has 7 points in 9 games, which is lower than many expected. I for one though don’t see him improving much on that pace. Nash has been a perennial 70 point scorer his entire career and I don’t see that changing in New York. Everyone thought that he just needed to play with some better players, but Nash isn’t the type of player who uses those around him anyways, so although playing with Richards might allow him to get the puck in scoring lanes more often, Nash is the type of player who likes to play with the puck and create chances for himself so putting top guys around him likely won’t change his output that much.
This is one reason I don’t expect the Rangers to live up to their Stanley Cup winning expectations this year and I could actually see them being one of the last few seeds in the playoffs.
That brings us to the Islanders who I also think will be clawing for a playoff spot come the end of April. John Tavares has emerged as one of the best forwards in the league and the team plays a style that uses their speed.
Islanders vs Rangers Game Odds
5Dimes.eu is one of the top sports betting sites online for wagering on NHL games. This is because their odds are almost always the best of all the bookies online. That said SportsInteraction.com sometimes offers some wacky odds that aren’t on point with the rest of the bookies in the industry. Sports Interaction often makes favorites bigger favorites, which results in dogs being bigger dogs. So you will sometimes find very good odds on underdogs at Sports Interaction. So I generally just check 5Dimes and Sports Interaction before playing my NHL wagers.
New York Islanders +145 (SportsInteraction.com)
New York Rangers -155 (5Dimes.eu)
Islanders vs Rangers Prediction
You might already be able to tell if you’ve read the first half of this article, but I’m on the Islanders tonight. They have lost two in a row, but both of these games were at home to strong teams (Devils and Penguins) and I think getting away from Nassau Colosseum might be good for them tonight. They went 3-1-1 on their last road trip and beat both the Devils and Penguins on the road this season, just prior to losing to each at home.
The Rangers also lost to the Pens and Devils recently, with a win over the Lightning squeezed in there. The Rangers have somewhat gotten their game in order, but they still aren’t at the level they were last season.
This is going to be a battle and I truly see this game as a coin flip, which is why I like the +145 odds on the Islanders so much. Take the dog here and win some big money.
New York Islanders • New York Rangers