Sometimes I wonder which teams have a bigger rivalry in the Atlantic. Is it Pittsburgh and Philly, or New York and New Jersey? Sure, the Penguins and Flyers have that whole cross-state thing going for them, but the Rangers and Devils literally have a cross-river rivalry that often brings the loyal fans of either team to the enemy's arena.
Tonight at Madison Square Garden Rangers fans will likely outnumber the Devils fans. More often than not the numbers are almost even at Prudential Center, but tend to sway in favor of the Rangers a bit more when at home. Leave it to the Wall Street suits to fill out the lower bowl...
Obviously I'm partial to the Pens/Flyers rivalry, but I'll never knock this one. Earlier in the season I landed some great tickets for a Rangers/Devils game (12 rows back) and watched what was easily one of the best games of the year. Granted my fanship was partial to the fact that I was simply taking in a great hockey game, but it was one hell of a show.
The final was 7-6 Devils. Yes, 7-6. No shootout, no overtime but a heck of a lot of scoring. At one point the game was something like 5-2 Devils. New Jersey fans were heckling Lundqvist who was clearly not having a good game. Then I blinked and it was 6-5 Rangers.
This is also the game you want to take in if you're looking for some fightage. Three fights broke out in that 7-6 game I went to, and not just your typical after-the-play scrum but full-on fist-to-the-face fights.
To make tonight's match even more entertaining there are two interesting aspects that should receive face time. For starters, Sean Avery returns to take on Marty Brodeur. If you need the history watch this video. Secondly, and on a more important note, this game is likely detrimental to the Rangers' playoff hopes. Let's face it - the Devils are in, they're dangerous and there's nothing we can do about it. At the least we can cheer for the Devils to help keep the Rangers out.
A New York win would improve their point total to 89, just one point behind the Pens. You can follow the action here on SBN with the Rangers blog, Blueshirt Banter, or the Devils blog, In Lou We Trust.