New York Islanders-Rangers Fantasy Team

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Feb 16, 2015; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) plays the puck in front of New York Rangers goalie Cam Talbot (33) during the first period at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Islanders and Rangers play the part of hated foes in real life, but what would it look like if somebody decided to put the two teams together?

Bitterness, hatred, emotional, crazy, incredible – just a few appropriate words to describe the rivalry between the New York Islanders and New York Rangers.

In the early 1980’s the Rangers had to deal with the evolution of the Isles transformation from little brother to the dominant team (winning four straight Stanley Cups while 1940 still rang loud for Broadway). Add to the fact the Rangers have been around since the days of the Original Six, and the intensity blew up to all time highs.

The Rangers struck back of course in 1994 and the Isles have been mired in a 20-plus year struggle.

Now, both teams are once again at the top of the NHL, and it is everything we could have ever wanted or asked for.

During the five head-to-head games in 2014-15, the enthusiasm and excitement surrounding the Metropolitan area is something we haven’t seen since the early 90’s.

Talent resides on both sides.

Feb 8, 2015; Buffalo, NY, USA; New York Islanders center John Tavares (91) before the game against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

John Tavares remains the best player in the city, and quite possibly a top-five guy in the entire league. His 72 points trails only Alexander Ovechkin’s 73 for tops in the league.

Rick Nash is enjoying a resurgent season as he’s seemingly brought back the Columbus Nash to life. 39 goals in only 68 games is good enough for second in the league. It is pretty apparent that Nash is finally over the concussion issues he was plagued with two seasons ago.

While Nash has been a man among boys this season, Henrik Ludqvist still reigns supreme as the face of the Rangers.

. 95. 95. . 90. 106

Metropolitan Division Standings

  1. Rangers, 68 GP, 44-18-7, 95 Pts, (4th in NHL)
  2. Islanders, 72 GP, 43-25-4, 90 Pts, (8th in NHL)

While the Isles have struggled as of late (3-5-2 in their last 10 games), nobody doubts how ridiculous a playoff series would be between these two teams.

Put a gun to my head, and I’ll say it’ll go the full length of seven-games.

What’s interesting to think about too is how similar both lineups really are. Jack Capuano and Alain Vigneault have the ability to always roll four-lines and count on the top three to consistently put the puck in the net.

The word for both lineups is “balance.”

Neither is team is top heavy and each line presents a great mixture of offense/defense and skill/grittiness.

What if somebody decided to mix both lineups together though? While a month or so from now it’ll be a bloodbath if these teams meet in the playoffs, it’s interesting to combine both rosters.

How would the lines and pairings shake out, and who would be selected before who in a fantasy draft?

Luckily for you, these are questions only Eyes On Isles can provide:

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