The Islanders' 4-2 over the Rangers had to put some smiles on all the Islanders' faces, but maybe none more so than relative newcomer Jason Chimera.
Chimera, who is only a few months into his tenure with the Isles, told reporters that his time in Brooklyn has already made him intolerant of Blueshirts or their fans.
"I've only been here six months, and I hate 'em," Chimera said of the Isles' crosstown rivals. "It's not just the team, it's the people that cheer for them. You hear your neighbors talking about the Rangers and you want to beat them even more."
Chimera, who picked up the lone assist on Andrew Ladd's empty net goal that iced the contest, now has four points (three goals and an assist) in his last five games.
Chimmer got off to a rocky start with the Islanders faithful, but I think his recent play and these comments are guaranteed to engratiate him forever. It just goes to show how intense this rivalry is that Chimera, who has played in so many big games and heated rivalries over the years, has already let the hatred of the Rangers completely envelop him. As a fellow Rangers hater, I have to say, I absolutely love it.
This is when pro sports are at their best. As fans, all we want is to know that the players are as invested in wins and losses as we are. And with Chimera coming out and flat out saying he's dying to beat the Rangers, it makes us far more invested in him. Every game at this juncture is important, and to his credit, Chimera has played that way, but to fans, some games mean a little more. This one, on home ice with playoff implications on the line, felt like a postseason atmosphere. And to know one of the guys in the trenches feels the same way in his heart that we do, it makes it so easy to root for a guy like that.
So welcome to the club, Jason! Here's to many more wins over the Rangers in the years to come.