It took less than two minutes for fists to fly in the first meeting between the New York Islanders and the New York Rangers. The rivalry is alive and well.
With over half of the 2019-20 regular season already in the books, it’s incredible that the New York Islanders and New York Rangers have yet to play.
In fact the last time these two teams played each other before tonight was on January 12, 2019. It’s been over a year since these two hated rivals have played each other.
So, with such a long break in the rivalry will it still be as heated as we all remember the Islanders-Rangers rivalry to be?
Two minutes into the game we got our answer.
Eighteen seconds into the game, Jordan Eberle found the back of the net to get the New York Islanders up first on the scoreboard. And for the next two minutes, the Isles controlled play in the Rangers end. The Rangers didn’t like it and decided to get some momentum of their own by letting fists do the talking.
At the 2:13 mark of the first period former Islanders Micheal Haley invited Ross Johnston to dance. An invitation that 6’6″ was more than happy to accept. Johnston rained blows onto Haley with an endless flurry of rights to the head.
You’d think that would be it and that everyone would settle in for a few more minutes of hockey. Wrong.
Both Martin and Smith would receive five-minute majors and game misconducts for initiating a fight before play could resume.
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If you think the rivalry had simmered down a bit today was a reminder that while these players haven’t seen each other in a year they still hate each other. And it’s awesome. There’s nothing better than an action-packed rivalry where the hatred is palpable.