This year, the Islanders, Rangers, and Devils had a friendly little wager called the Hummer Metro Ice Challenge. The results were based on games between these three great rivals. the Islanders tore out to an early lead, and the Rangers stayed close - both teams beat up on the Devils all year for some bizarre reason.
So anyway, even though the Islanders stumbled at the end of the season, they still split with the Rangers as the season ended, leaving them one point ahead in the Challenge standings after winning the season series with the Rags, 5 games to 3. The Rangers had one last chance, with a meaningless Sunday game against the Devils. Two points would catapult them ahead of the Isles for the Hummer Cup Metro Challenge Cup. But no. The Devils won the game in a shootout, leaving a tie at the top.
The final standings were:
Isles 11-4-1, 23 pts
Rags 10-3-3, 23 pts
Devs 3-9-4, 10 pts
So let's review. The Isles and Rangers tied at 23 points. The Isles had more wins in the Hummer Challenge Cup Metro series. The Isles had 5 of 8 wins against the Rangers. THE ISLANDERS WIN THE HUMMER CUP! THE ISLANDERS WIN THE HUMMER CUP!
Seems simple enough. Then the intrigue started. At the end of Sunday’s game, Sam Rosen comes on and announces “and the Rangers win the Hummer Metro Ice Challenge!” (This is the same genius who announced that the Islanders had been eliminated from the playoffs one week before they ended up making the playoffs.) Someone, somewhere (and I blame the evil James Dolan of Cablevision for this) just randomly decided that the Rangers were the winners despite losing all standard tiebreakers. None of this would be important except that the prize was $50,000 to the winning team's chosen charity.
So now there's a firestorm going on because the Islanders won the Challenge fair and square, but the Cablevision/MSG folks decided to give the charity money to the Rangers instead.
Chris Botta, the media relations VP of the Isles, called the studio immediately upon hearing Rosen saying this and, by his own account, swore out Al Trautwig. Even the Rangers partisans are all saying “What the F?” Botta has mentioned that there is an imminent solution, but we haven't heard anything further about it.
So to summarize: Madison Square Garden/Cablevision made up some bullshit and stole $50K from the Islanders charity for sick children. Way to go!