Jan
22

Weekly Preview: Two More Out West, Then the All-Star Break

January 22, 2018, by

The Rangers’ west coast swing has opened with a thud.  The undermanned Blueshirts lost 3-1 to the Avalanche on Saturday, then fell to the Kings last night 4-2.  The team was lethargic in Denver, and while last night’s effort was a bit more spirited, the process (NYR were badly out-attempted and out-chanced in both games) and results were bad.

As Dave mentioned earlier today, all of the signals are there that the front office is lining up the pieces to sell at the deadline.  And yet, this is the Rangers, so we’ll see.

In any event, the Blueshirts have two more games out west before the weeklong All-Star Break.  Before we get to the Skills Competition with a side of Kid Rock, let’s take a quick look at the next two opponents.

Tuesday at Anaheim Ducks (22-17-9) – 10:00 PM ET

Good Ol’ Hockey Guy Randy Carlyle is back for his second stint with the Ducks, and unsurprisingly, things aren’t going great.  The Ducks are a pile of mediocrity, sitting in fourth place in the Pacific Division and two points behind Colorado for the final Wild Card spot.  The Ducks, like the Rangers, don’t drive possession at all (29th in 5v5 CF%), and tend to give up more quality chances than they create.  They’re hovering around actual .500 because of good shooting and excellent goaltending from John Gibson and Ryan Miller.

That said, the Ducks will have the best player on the ice in Ryan Getzlaf, who is playing at more than a point per game pace after starting the season on IR (28 points in 24 games).  The Rangers have had trouble stopping top players as of late (see: MacKinnon, Nathan), so we’ll see if they can reverse that trend on Tuesday.

Also, the Ducks make funny commercials.

Thursday at San Jose Sharks (26-14-6) – 10:30 PM ET

Saving the best for last, the Rangers square off with the dangerous Sharks on Thursday.  San Jose is the best all-around team that the Rangers will face on this road trip, and it appears likely that be limping into the Shark Tank.  Though they trail the Golden Knights by 8 points in the standings, the Sharks are one of the true contenders in the Western Conference.

The usual suspects lead the line for the Sharks.  It took Brent Burns 21 games to score his first goal, but he has 7 now, to go along with 31 assists.  Joe Thornton and Logan Couture are also having strong seasons, but the Sharks present a balanced, four-line attack.  Martin Jones and Aaron Dell have been just good enough in nets, but the Sharks carry play enough that they don’t rely on goaltending too heavily (novel concept, eh?)

Predictions

  • ANA 3 – NYR 2 (OT)
  • SJ 4 – NYR 1
  • Hopefully the beginnings of a sell-off during the All-Star Break.

Leave your predictions in the comments, fam.

8 comments

  1. roadrider says:

  2. Odielishous says:

    This league makes no sense sometimes. We shelled philly 5 -1. Then philly went to Toronto and won 3-2 in ot, then handed the devils their butt 3-1, and then beat washington 2-1 in ot. Matter of fact philly’s only loss so far this month is to the Rangers. And they only have 4 games left.

    How did Rangers and a shorthanded rangers beat them so easily but can’t win another game this month? I agree this team is soft and philly is always been known as a hard nose team. I guess they played to our game. And elliot really did have a bad game. But that aside it should have been a closer contest then 5 -1

  3. Richter1994 says:

    Prediction: SELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

  4. wwpd says:

    BSB sentiment is reaching an all time low. They’re panicking right now, I can feel it. Advise our clients to BUY after 2018, you’ll have cleared out all the suckers by then. Mr Valentine has set the price.