Evaluating the 3 potential NY Islanders playoff opponents

Which matchup is more favorable, and which opponent do fans want to see the most?
Carolina Hurricanes v New York Islanders
Carolina Hurricanes v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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2. New York Rangers

Should the Islanders fall back into the second wild-card spot or the Hurricanes overtake first place in the Metropolitan Division, they'd stare their nemesis in the face. For the first time since 1993-94, the Isles would matchup against the New York Rangers in round one of the Stanley Cup finals. Suffice it to say, that both fanbases have mixed emotions regarding this best-of-seven scenario.

Strictly based on regular season performance, the Rangers have skated circles around the Islanders in all three matchups. They came back from a 5-3 deficit to defeat the Isles in overtime at MetLife Stadium. Yes, Scott Mayfield took two awful penalties that handed the Blue Shirts an immaculate opportunity to tie the game. The Rangers blew out the Islanders 5-2 in another nationally televised event at Madison Square Garden in March. On Tuesday, the Islanders struck early with three goals in the first period. Had Semyon Varlamov not been on top of his game, the Rangers had every reason to tie this game in regulation as well.

On the other hand, how amazing would it feel as an Islanders fan to see them eliminate the Rangers in round one of the playoffs? After being embarrassed in the Stadium Series and having the arena overtaken by Rangers fans on Tuesday, the team's revenge can finally come in the greatest form possible. Rangers fans are boasting their 'greatest regular season record in franchise history'. For every Islanders fan who has been tormented by Rangers fans for years, a series victory against the Blue Shirts would be something to put in our back pockets for years to come.