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Islanders: Three reasons game against NY Rangers is must win

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 16: Jean-Gabriel Pageau #44 of the New York Islanders goes up against Jacob Trouba #8 of the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on January 16, 2021 in New York City. The Rangers shutout the Islanders 5-0. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 16: Jean-Gabriel Pageau #44 of the New York Islanders goes up against Jacob Trouba #8 of the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on January 16, 2021 in New York City. The Rangers shutout the Islanders 5-0. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Ilya Sorokin #30 and the New York Islanders celebrate the shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Ilya Sorokin #30 and the New York Islanders celebrate the shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Right the Ship

A win tonight will certainly help the team emotionally and should restore the confidence they seemingly lost against Philly a few weeks ago. But above all else, it should right the ship with ten games left on the 2021 regular season.

I say should because how they win (assuming they do) is going to matter. They have to start playing as if the games mean a damn, because, frankly, they do.

Over the last few weeks, the Islanders have been sleepwalking their way to a 5-3-0 record. Which is still impressive, but they’ve got to wake up. If they win today it certainly won’t be done on cruise control. The Rangers are playing too well at the moment to let a sleepwalking Islanders squad beat them.

Over their last ten games, the Rangers are 7-1-2. Since a 4-1 win against the Isles on the 9th, the Rangers have gone 4-0-1 with a +11 goal differential. Again, they are playing well. The Isles can’t pitch the same performance they had against the Flyers and expect a win. It’s just not going to happen.

The Islanders are in the most important stretch of the season with three games against the Rangers and Caps in six nights. These next six games will have a huge impact on how the division plays out this year. Getting back on track after a rough few weeks will be obviously important for them. That starts tonight.

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