Yes, the weather, lighting and ice conditions will likely be different than Sunday's game against the Devils, but already having played a game in Yankee Stadium should give the Rangers a huge advantage over the Islanders tonight.
From the crowd of over 50,000 to all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the game, the Rangers need to punch the Islanders in the mouth in the first five minutes of the game while they're still in awe of the situation presented in front of them. If the Rangers allow their rivals to settle in, they could find themselves with a Yankee Stadium split instead of a sweep.
The biggest advantage should be from the lessons learned about the playing conditions at the Stadium which Rick Carpiniello at the Rangers Report points out...
"First, I think the Rangers learned a valuable lesson Sunday about the ice. It was chippy, very bad—and not just because Martin Brodeur said so. It was bad. So if you are patient, especially between the blue lines, you will get some turnovers and be able to counter. The Rangers made a rout out of that Sunday. The Devils, not so much.
So I’m sure that Alain Vigneault will, at practice today, hammer it into his guys’ heads to take care of the puck from inside their blue line to the Islanders’ blue line, to make simple plays, use the glass and walls, and wait for your breaks. They will come."
Having said that, one aspect the Rangers need to be wary of is matching the Islanders excitement and intensity level which should be through the roof. The Islanders rarely find themselves on the national stage, so this is not just a big two points this a momentous opportunity for the Fishsticks organization to showcase itself.
Which is something that apparently isn't lost on Dan Girardi (via Blueshirts United)...
"We know (the Islanders) will be full of excitement, their first chance to play there, so we have to have that same excitement we had going into the first game. We just have to treat it like the big rivalry game it is."
I have a gut feeling the refs will lean in favor of the Islanders tonight. Rangers need to take advantage of having already played on this surface. They were able to take the advantage in the 2nd period on Sunday having practiced in the snow already. You can't tell me the snow wasn't a big factor because it was, and the Rangers were prepared. I expect a similar advantage in tonight's game.
Mike LoPriore, apparently my literary genius is above your IQ level as that was meant to be figuratively not literally.
it was the sun I am sure that made the ice difficult. Its going to get choppy when you have direct sunlight on it. My guess is that tonight will be much better
@TheNYRBlog Cally with another mega-check to start the game!
Why is the ice so crappy? We have had freezing temperatures past 2 weeks. Don't they have pipes under the ice to keep it frozen? Aren't they running a Zamboni on the surface day & night? I can understand if we had a heat wave in January, but come on! Get your crap together NHL.
Need not just Captain Cally, but the whole team to do a statement hit in the opening minutes and throughout the game. My biggest fear then would be to get called on a biased penalty and the momentum of the game changes.
Please. Punch us in the mouth. I'd love a JT91 Power Play goal in the first 3 minutes. Another smart Rags fan with a keyboard.
@TheNYRBlog we will need to do that so isles don't get comfy. As you know when they play us they play as if its 7th game of cup final.
@TheNYRBlog wow spot on.