Last night we found ourselves hosting not one, but TWO huge rivalry games in the NHL; The NY Rangers faced off against their dreaded rivals the NY Islanders, while at the same time, the Montreal Canadiens traveled to Toronto to hook up against the Maple Leafs.  This was a big night for all four teams as both games had playoff implications, which added additional pressure to the night's games.

A good crowd turned out for the games and they were as feisty as the players were on the ice.  As it turned out, the Maple Leafs established themselves quickly and ended up blowing the Habs away, 5-1. Wasn't even close.  My sense was that the Habs had a bit of a letdown after clinching a playoff spot a few days earlier.  Hopefully they will bounce back this week.

In the other game, the Rangers and Islanders battled tooth and nail through three scoreless periods before the NY Rangers pulled out a 1-0 overtime victory, much to the delight of the Ranger fans in the bar and to the disappointment of the Islander fans.  It was an epic battle, with the real feel of a playoff game.  Both teams are still in the playoff hunt and even though the Islanders lost, should they make it to the playoffs, they will be a dangerous team to face.

So overall, if you were a Ranger or Leafs fan, you went home happy.  As for the fans of the Habs and Islanders, tomorrow's another day.  But with less than two weeks left before the playoffs, every game from here on out is an important one.  And the fans know it.  This should be a great stretch run.

Stay tuned!


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