Posted on: January 31, 2023, 01:21h.
Last updated on: January 31, 2023, 01:21h.
One of the things that out-of-towners do not realize when they come to New York is that this is a hockey city more than many would think. If you ever want to see a real New York rivalry, stop by Madison Square Garden when the Islanders are playing the Rangers.
Or when the Fire Department is playing the Police Department. Yes, they have contested that one at MSG.
There is a hockey subculture that exists more in the suburbs than the five boroughs of New York City, and that subculture got a jolt Monday when the New York Islanders surrendered Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Raty and a top-12 protected first-round pick in the 2023 draft in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks for Bo Horvat.
Horvat is tied for seventh in the NHL with 31 goals, giving him, 12 more than anyone else on the Islanders roster. It is a major trade for general manager Lou Lamioriello, best known for his work across the Hudson River,where he sent the New Jersey Devils to the playoffs 22 times in his 27 years as general manager.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 31, 2023
The Islanders a Stanley Cup Contender?
Well, it is a start. When you are ranked 10th in the conference and are looking up at two powerhouses in the Boston Bruins (38-7-5) and Carolina Hurricanes (32-9-8), you have to assess where you are lacking. The Islanders are 23rd in the NHL with 148 goals. But they now have Connor McDavid’s former Canadian national junior team wingman, a center who was second in points, and the team leader in goals scored for Vancouver, where he was a team captain.
“Really excited,” Horvat told reporters on a Zoom call. “Heard lots of unbelievable things about the organization, the city, and all the players on it. Nothing but respect for this organization. Really, really looking forward to it.”
The Islanders have not won a Stanley Cup since the franchise’s glory days in the early 1980s, winning three consecutive titles when they played at the Nassau Coliseum. They moved into the UBS Arena in a former piece of parkland at Belmont Race Track in 2021, nearly making the Cup finals in their first season there, but falling 4-3 in the semifinals to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The latter is the nemesis rival that has defeated the Isles in their past four postseason matchups, including 4-2 in the conference finals in 2019.
The odds on the Islanders winning the Stanley Cup at New York’s nine licensed sportsbooks are as follows …
- ResortsWorld: +6600
- PointsBet: +6600.
- DraftKings Sportsbook: +5000.
- BetMGM: +5000.
- FanDuel Sportsbook: +5000.
- BetRivers: +5500.
- Caesars: +3500
- BallyBet: Unavailable
The Islanders’ natural rival, the New York Rangers, have Stanley Cup champion prices ranging from +1300 to +2000. But the Rangers did not just acquire a player who has 201 career goals and 219 career assists.
“I’ve always believed that during the year, you find out whether you have a chance. You get in the playoffs, that’s your first goal. Then once you get in the playoffs, anything can happen,” Lamoriello told reporters. “I believe he improves us to get that opportunity to get in the playoffs, and then we’ll go one step at a time.”
Horvat’s availability was known throughout the NHL after the Canucks failed to sign him to an extension and had fallen far out of playoff contention. Vancouver president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford told reporters two weeks ago that the organization had “taken our best shot” as far as negotiating with Horvat’s camp on an extension.
Thank you, Bo! pic.twitter.com/rCeDyg9WE4
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) January 31, 2023
What Will It Take For Isles To Win?
For starters, you cannot be an elite hockey team when you are 25th in per-game scoring and 31st on the power play. Of Horvat’s 31 goals, 11 have come with a man advantage. Vancouver is going to continue to pay a portion of Horvat’s salary, so Lamoriello’s flexibility entering trade season will not be hindered. There are five NHL games tonight and tomorrow before the league enters All-Star break, with the All-Star tournament final (a 3-on-3 competition) slated for 5 p.m. Saturday. It is a good bet that the ratings will be higher in Canada than the United States.
In New York, the best hockey action this weekend is in upstate Ithaca, NY, where Cornell University is ranked 11th nationally. But if you drop into a place like the Brewster Ice Arena in northern Westchester, you will see hockey moms and dads cheering on their high school age kids. Again, it is a subculture in New York unlike any other, and for those who cherish rowdiness, we invite you to take an LIRR or Metro-North train out of Manhattan on any night after the Rangers have played a home game. Back when the railroad had “quiet” cars, Rangers fans would relish the chance to upset fun-haters. And no, they did not stay quiet.
Islanders fans are typically better behaved, local legend has it. But any Islanders-Rangers game played at Madison Square Garden brings with it a safe bet on rowdy behavior. Hey, it’s hockey. And hockey fans get it. That is why hockey has this:
— The Golf Chill (@thegolfchill) January 14, 2020