I was watching some classic rangers clips on youtube recently and i started to search for the rangers/islanders games from the 70s and 80s and i realized that I would love to see those two teams play a game instead of the two current teams because you could see that the islanders and rangers really hated each other and somewhere along the line they lost that animosity and it almost became like the rangers and islanders couldn't care less about each other and let the drunken fans in the stands hate and beat on each other.
I realize that through the mid to late 90s and into the new millennium the quality of teams really hurt the rivalry as did the "questionable" moves to put it lightly really began killing the fire between these two long time "rivals" and that the Devils have become the Rangers top rival because the teams are always competitive and in the playoff race.
Change, however, I believe is coming in the form of players like Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Kyle Okposo, and to some extent John Tavares. With the Islanders starting to actually put together a somewhat decent team with a good young core the Rangers and Islanders rivalry could soon be picking up steam again.
Will it be those bloody battles of the 70s and 80s, highly unlikely in the "new" NHL but I feel that change is coming to the New York metro area and the rivalry between the Rangers, Islanders and Devils will be hotter and more fierce than ever...now if only we played those two teams more often but that's a subject that's been beaten to death already