With a 6-2 Game 7 win over of the Carolina Hurricanes, the New York Rangers advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. And that's a problem for New York Islanders fans.
Not only because the Rangers are where the Islanders wanted to be this season. That's reason enough to be a little salty. But their opponents in the ECF are the Tampa Bay Lightning. All the more reason for Isles fans to be salty.
New York Islanders fans in a tough spot with Eastern Conference Finals
One of the Lightning or Rangers will move on to the Stanley Cup Finals this year. And there in lies the issue for Islanders fans.
On one hand, you have the Lightning who've eliminated the Isles in three of their last four post-season runs. They're also creeping up to an Islanders record we thought would never be broken.
From 1980 through 1983 the New York Islanders picked up four Stanley Cups, the last true dynasty. They also won 19 straight playoff series. That's a record that we thought couldn't be broken. Tampa has won ten straight playoff series now. It's still a way to go to hit 19, but they're halfway there. Putting that run to an end and ending the Lightning's bid for a modern-day dynasty would be very nice.
On the other hand, the Rangers are the Islanders bitter rivals. Seeing them succeed where the Isles haven't been able to (twice) would be frankly a little embarrassing.
So that's the issue for Islanders fans. They want both teams to lose this series. Of course, one of them has to win.
So we'll all watch this series with a lot of conflicting emotions. Because neither team is the one we want to see progress. But if Lou Lamoriello's offseason retool goes well the New York Islanders should be back where they want to be quick.