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New York Islanders 2019 Metropolitan Division Preview: New York Rangers

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 02: A fan holds a sign during the game between the New York Islanders and the Los Angeles Kings at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on February 02, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Kings 4-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 02: A fan holds a sign during the game between the New York Islanders and the Los Angeles Kings at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on February 02, 2019 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Kings 4-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 10: Josh Bailey #12 of the New York Islanders celebrates after scoring the winning goal against Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers in the third period during their game at Madison Square Garden on January 10, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 10: Josh Bailey #12 of the New York Islanders celebrates after scoring the winning goal against Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers in the third period during their game at Madison Square Garden on January 10, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers made significant noise in the offseason. But can the New York Islanders bitter rivals escape the basement in one of the most competitive divisions in the NHL?

The rebuild is apparently over for the New York Islanders crosstown rivals, the New York Rangers. Just under two years ago the Rangers told fans they’d be selling off older players in order to get younger and more competitive.

There was going to be some pain, but in the end, it would be worth it.

They did exactly what they said they’d do by trading away players like

Derek Stepan

,

Antti Raanta

,

Rick Nash

,

Ryan McDonagh

,

Mats Zuccarello

, and

Kevin Hayes

.

Over those two years, the Rangers held losing records and finished eighth in 2017-18 and seventh in 2018-19 in the Metropolitan Division. And over those two years, the Islanders have finished above the Rangers for the first time in a while.

But are the good times soon going to end? Are the New York Rangers poised to make a leap in the standings after moves they made in the offseason? Should the New York Islanders be worried that the evil empire has regained much of its former strength?

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