Living in Stamford, which is “a 30 minute drive to New York” as any local will tell you, it was hard to grow up and not enjoy watching New York sports teams, especially when they played each other. This week, we’re fortunate enough to have three match ups between inter-state rivals in three major sports: the NHL, NBA, and the NFL. The Islanders take on the Rangers at the Barclays, the Knicks host the Nets at Madison Square Garden, and the Jets try to go to MetLife Stadium and beat the Giants. These all sound like good match ups that are guaranteed to bring in big crowds, and I can’t wait to relax and enjoy seeing these teams fight to gain the respect of The Big Apple. Here’s who I think is going to come out victorious in each of these powerhouse games:
New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders
Tonight, the Rangers will play their first game in The Barclays against the Islanders. This game couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. The Rangers recently snapped their three game losing streak beating the Hurricanes 4-3 this past Monday, as the islanders have won 5 of their last 8 including the recent 5-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Personally, I feel that the Rangers are going to be put to the test this game, as they’ve never played in Brooklyn and the fact that the Islanders have been playing pretty good the past few seasons. With a few key injuries to their roster, the Rangers seem to have a slight disadvantage, but as long as King Hank is solid between the pipes, I don’t see the Islanders doing too much damage. Kyle Okposo is an unrestricted free agent after this season, and has been on a mission to prove his worth as he is second in points on the Islanders. If you can’t tell by now that I’m being totally bias, I think the Rangers should come out on top, 4-2.
New York Knicks vs. Brooklyn Nets
On Friday, Madison Square Garden will host another rivalry game between the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets. Although neither team is really doing that well, this game could potentially spark either team to come out and play with a little more intensity. Both teams are 4-6 in their last 10 games, and are both looking for some sort of momentum shift to get their seasons back together. Rookie Kristaps Porzingis has been the talk of the Knicks as he leads the team in rebounds and blocks and is second in scoring behind Carmelo Anthony. The Nets are going to rely on Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young to get their team going, but in my opinion will fall short to the Knicks 89-78.
New York Giants vs. New York Jets
Once you’ve recovered from the hockey and basketball games, you can crack open a beer and get ready for one of, if not the biggest game for either team this season. The Jets are going to MetLife for the second time in 2 weeks, and just after they demolished the Dolphins 38-20. The Giants look to bounce back after a 20-14 loss to Washington hoping to climb back on top of the NFC East. Both Eli Manning and Ryan Fitzpatrick have been playing stellar games, although it’s been slightly rougher for Eli due to the lack of the Giants running game. That being said, Eli will have to throw into the Jets secondary, which has allowed opposing QB’s to complete only 56% of their passes, the lowest in the league. Although Odell Beckham Jr. has been doing work for the G-Men, Ruben Randle and Will Tye will have to step in and play their parts as well. Even though Eli has won both of his two games against the Jets, they didn’t come easy, and the Jets weren’t the team they are now. I see this game going the distance, but Gang Green will come out victorious, 35-20.
If you live in the Tri-State area and enjoy watching fast paced, action packed, high intensity sports, this week is basically an early Christmas present. With 3 great games spread out the course of the week, I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed. If this isn’t your cup of tea, I’m sure there’s some cricket game or chess match on ESPN Who Cares that you can watch while you knit a scarf for your pet turtle.