Oct
23

This is a big week for the Rangers

October 23, 2017, by

This week, the Rangers will play games 10, 11 and 12 of an 82-game schedule.  Under normal circumstances, this would be a fairly nondescript week, with two Western Conference teams visiting the Garden before a road game in Montreal.  But these are not normal circumstances.

While this isn’t quite “must-win” territory, the Rangers have dug themselves a significant hole.  2-5-2 is a bad record, made worse when you consider that 7 of those 9 games have been played at MSG.  The Rangers are dangerously close to squandering nearly a quarter of their home games before Halloween.  On the flip side, wins over San Jose and Arizona will put the Rangers on a modest three-game winning streak heading into Hockey Night in Canada up in Montreal.  Here’s a look at the (important!) week ahead.

Monday 10/23 vs. San Jose Sharks (3-4-0)

The Sharks swim into MSG with an unimpressive record, and have scored just 19 goals in 7 games.  But as is often the case, a team’s record and goal-scoring success doesn’t always tell the whole story.  San Jose leads the NHL in score-adjusted CF% (56.66) and is third in xGF% (56.59).  The reason for the Sharks mediocre record?  You guessed it: an extremely low (and unlucky) PDO of 94.77 (their shooting percentage is actually lower than the Rangers’).  Like the Rangers, San Jose is also due for an offensive outburst.  Let’s hope it happens later this week.  Regardless, expect the Sharks to carry play for long stretches and put lots of pucks on Henrik Lundqvist.

Thursday 10/26 vs. Arizona Coyotes (0-7-1)

Rangers/Coyotes isn’t usually one to circle on the calendar, but of course this time around it marks the first trip back to New York for Derek Stepan and Antti Raanta since this past summer’s trade.  Expect the Rangers to honor Stepan with a classy tribute video, which is fully deserved.

On the ice, the Coyotes are even more lost than the Rangers.  They’ve conceded 34 goals against while scoring just 18.  Despite sporting an arsenal of talented young players (Clayton Keller, Max Domi, Anthony Duclair), the Coyotes are a team the Rangers simply must beat on home ice.

Saturday 10/28 at Montreal Canadiens (1-6-1)

Like the Coyotes, the early-season results for Montreal have been ugly.  Through their first 8 games, the Canadiens have allowed 20 more goals (33) than they’ve scored (13).  Nearly everyone on their roster is off to a slow start, including Carey Price.  But Montreal is more like the Sharks than the Coyotes.  Their shooting percentage at even strength is an unfathomable 4.29%, which will likely normalize soon.  Price will likely get on a hot streak as well, and the Canadiens will start winning some games.  Claude Julien teams usually don’t score a lot, but are solid defensively and tend to control play.  As we know, the Rangers have had their struggles in Montreal, so we’ll see what the latest edition of this Original Six rivalry has in store.

Predictions!

The Rangers will eke out a 3-2 win over San Jose (despite being badly out-shot again), beat Arizona handily 4-1, and lose an exciting 3-2 game to the Canadiens in overtime.  5 points from 3 games will have us all feeling a lot better this time next week.

Let us know your predictions in the comments.

"This is a big week for the Rangers", 5 out of 5 based on 3 ratings.
Categories : Analysis, Musings

7 comments

  1. Pas44 says:

    Dude, this is “must-win” territory.

  2. Chris. C says:

    Id rather a OT lose to the Sharks, then to lose to the Canadians and hear my friend running his pie hole for a week. But lets hope for a three game winning streak.

  3. Stevem says:

    We need all 6 of these points.. and I think we get them.

  4. Leatherneck says:

    34 years ago today 241 US Servicemen gave all in Beirut, mostly Marines. I have a huge connection to that bunch of Marines…I know a few that survived to include my cousin. Let’s not forget those Marines today.

    Let’s go Rangers

    • Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

      Putting things in their proper perspective. Thank you for sharing that with us all. Thanks to you and your cousin for your service and bravery.

    • Walt says:

      Leather

      There isn’t a day that I don’t think about our men in uniform, and all they sacrifice for this nation. Thanks for reminding us about the terror explosion on the Marine barracks. May they all rest in peace!!!

  5. Eddie!Eddie!Eddie! says:

    As I said the other day, and I will include the Vegas game next week to wrap up the month, these next four are critical. We need at least 7 of a possible 8 points. We get that, then that’s points in seven straight games and we are back in business.

    Fall short and say do no better than get 4 or 5 points, then we are likely in “next year” mode.