If your one hockey game a season is “The Battle of New York”—as it has been called since 1972 when the new franchise Islanders had to pay the Rangers a $4 million fee just to play in their “territory”—this one’s for you. The arch rivals have met 10 times in Stanley Cup competitions, with the Rangers prevailing six times, but that doesn’t seem likely to happen this year, especially with the Islanders W-L below .300 as we go to press. The fans are the fun when these two enemies meet, with the Islanders crowd inventing different ways to chant “Rangers suck!” and “1940!,” referring to the Rangers’ having the all-time-longest drought without winning the Stanley Cup (from 1940–1994). Rangers fans counter by whistling “Let’s Go Band” with the words “Potvin sucks,” a taunt at retired Islanders Hall of Famer Dennis Potvin. And for even more spectator enjoyment, there are sure to be fights and shouting matches, which are often more orchestrated than spontaneous.
Fri., Dec. 3, 7 p.m., 2010