Rangers or Islanders: Which is the Better New York NHL Hockey Team?

The NHL’s New York Islanders and New York Rangers perhaps make up one of the most hated rivalries in the league. Despite having the advantage of being in the NHL for 47 more years, the Rangers had to play catch up in 1993-94 to equal the Islanders total of four Stanley Cups.

As far as scoring goes, the New York Islanders individual scoring records are far and above the New York Rangers scoring records. However, when it comes to team single season records, the difference between the two rivals in much slimmer.

The Islanders edge out the Rangers in the categories of most wins and most points in a single season, but not by much. In the third year of their 1980’s Stanley Cup dynasty, the Islanders won 54 games and accumulated 118 total points. The Rangers fall two wins and six points shy with 52 wins and 112 points in their last Stanley Cup season, 1993-94.

The Islanders also take the Rangers when it comes to the most losses in a single season. This, of course, is not a good thing. The Islanders lost 60 games in their first season of existence, 1972-73. The Rangers have a considerably lower team record for most losses in a season with 44 in 1984-85.

Take those same two seasons and you find each team’s record for most goals against in a single season. The Islanders allowed two more goals in their worst outing than the Rangers in theirs at 347 to 345. However, when it comes to goals for in a single season, the Islanders are hands down the better team. In 1981-82, the Islanders scored 385 goals compared to the Rangers scoring 321 in 1991-92. This equates to a 64 goal differential.

The two New York hockey teams are similar to the hare and the tortoise. The Rangers keep slugging along at the higher end of mediocrity and probably will to the end of time. The Islanders burst onto the scene in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s and have since crashed, both on and off the ice.

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