New York Islanders, New York Rangers Enhance Rivalry by Taking it Outside

By Matthew Solomon
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since the 1972-73 season, the rivalry between the New York Islanders and New York Rangers has been one of the most intense in all of the NHL, and possibly in all of sports for that matter.  The games played between these two clubs, both in the regular season and playoffs, have been heated, for both fans and players alike.  Now this season the two clubs take their rivalry to new heights and add a new twist to it. The Islanders and Rangers take their rivalry outside.  The date is January 29, and puck drop is set for 7:30PM. The game will be televised on the NBC Sports Network. The location, Yankee Stadium. That’s right; the rivalry goes outside as part of the stadium series the NHL has debuted for this season.

In fact this isn’t the only one of these games for the Rangers, as they will also play the New Jersey Devils at Yankee Stadium on January 26 at 12:30PM. As it relates to the Islanders and Rangers, players from both teams are excited about playing in this hockey game.  Outside of the New York, Metro area, people aren’t really as exposed to how good this rivalry can be. Now with a game like this, it can expose to a broader audience what a great rivalry this is and showcase the great players that play for both of these teams.  It’s a truly great showcase for the talent that the NHL has and the talent that the New York-Metro area has.

The game was originally slated to start at 7PM but was pushed back to 7:30 in a smart move by the league. It allows for the fans to have enough time to get done with work and get out to the park for the game. Also, the new start time will help generate great ratings for the league on the NBC Sports Network. By having the game played at that time, it will allow for exposure of the rivalry, and sport, to a huge national audience as well as to a variety of visitors who are anticipated to be in the area. This event can touch people on different levels and reach new heights for both teams and players. An event like this can be a magical event for fans and players alike.

For the three New York-area franchises, which have combined to win the Stanley Cup eight times since 1980, it will be a monumental doubleheader in the thick of the 2013-14 regular season. The Rangers are the only team to have appeared in an outdoor game previously; they beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in the 2012 Winter Classic, which was played at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. The two games at Yankee Stadium will add another chapter to the lore that surrounds one of the most famous sporting facilities in the world.

Matthew Solomon covers the NHL and New York Islanders for Rant Sports. Follow me on Twitter and Google!

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