Archive for Game Thread


Game 73: Playoff Torts

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rangers blue jackets ryan mcdonagh brandon dubinsky

The Rangers are taking on Columbus tonight in what is basically another game in the countdown until Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil are called up. It’s a bit sad, but that’s what we are looking forward to now as fans. I, for one, am enjoying the stress free hockey. Gives me time to actually watch and observe, instead of constantly yelling at my TV.

The Blue Jackets are deep and playoff bound. We knew that from the start. Even with their injuries, they are one of the true contenders in the East. Good for Torts.

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Game 72: St. Patrick’s Day Rangers

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Photo: Getty

The Rangers are back in action tonight in St. Louis, taking on Blues in a battle for draft positioning. Neither team is making the playoffs, so neither team has much to play for. The Blueshirts are getting long looks at the kids, and the Blues are gearing up for next season.

On the bright side, it’s St. Patrick’s Day. And there shouldn’t be any more Susan Sarandon between the benches. So those are two positives for this game. This could have been a homecoming for Kevin Shattenkirk as well, but he’s not playing. He should be shut down for the year, but who knows. Anyway, let’s enjoy some stress free hockey.

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rangers penguins mika zibanejad

Derick Brassard is in a Penguins uniform, reunited with Carl Hagelin. Seeing Hagelin in a Pens uniform was bad. Adding Brassard to that is even worse. I really hate the Penguins. And I hate it when they add ex-Rangers. Bah.

Anyway, that’s the main story for this game. The Blueshirts are without Tony DeAngelo, likely done for the year with an ankle injury. Ryan Sproul is up. Alex Georgiev gets the start. Same old, same old as we wrap up the season.

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Game 70: Shoot on the bad goalie

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Cam Ward, Chris Kreider

AP Photo/Gerry Broome

The Rangers are back in action again tonight, taking on a Carolina team that really should be better than they are. They have had terrible goaltending basically all season, and that’s a big reason why they are on the outside of the playoffs looking in. It’s unlikely they get in now, but stranger things have happened.

As for the Blueshirts, it’s another game in the rebuild. This is more about seeing how the kids play, as opposed to getting points. You can’t ask players to tank, and you want to create a winning mentality. Play to win, but hopefully grab a top-five pick.

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Game 69: Nice

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The Rangers have been demolished by two very good teams the past two games, and now run into white-hot Florida. Florida’s lineup, at least on paper, has no business sniffing a playoff spot, but here they sit, three points out with three games in hand. They’ve been riding Roberto Luongo, who is having a Vezina caliber season at age 931, give or take.

As for the Blueshirts, the rebuild is going to be tough. The last two games are what we should expect, not the previous three out west. Florida might not be as good as they are currently playing, but it’s all about timing. They are white-hot and the Blueshirts still don’t play defense. Should be interesting.

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Game 68: Hello, old friends

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Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Tonight’s game is going to hurt. Sure, Tampa Bay is really good and should lay a hurting on the Rangers. I think that part we all expect. Tonight is different. While he won’t play tonight, it is a reminder that Ryan McDonagh is now with the Lightning, and not with the Rangers. That will hurt.

JT Miller went alongside McDonagh in that trade. Did you know that he spent parts of SIX seasons with the Blueshirts? I didn’t until I started writing this post. That’s only two fewer than McDonagh. Amazing, how fast time flies. I hope to see them, along with the other former Rangers, lifting the Cup.

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Game 67: Rangers pulling a NY Jets

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rangers jets mika zibanejad

The Rangers are back home tonight after doing surprisingly well on the road trip out west. They’ve played well since the trade deadline, actually, which is both surprising and, to some, disappointing. The Blueshirts sold at the deadline and are supposed to be tanking. The players did not get the memo.

Apparently this is the same memo that that NY Jets missed, since they were supposed to tank and instead wound up with five wins, about three more than anyone expected. But here we are, with the Blueshirts winning games. At least the games have been fun to watch, even if you think the goalies are gonna need new legs.

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Game 66: The new guys aren’t half bad

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The Rangers are in Edmonton tonight to wrap up their west coast swing against the Oilers. For those hoping to fuel the tank, the Rangers have picked up a few points since the deadline, so there goes that. For those hoping to see the Rangers sneak back into the race, it isn’t happening, but hey there’s always hope.

Ryan Spooner and Vladislav Namestnikov are playing well. But that’s about it. The team is still allowing 50 shots a game, and if not for Henrik Lundqvist, would have lost the past two games. It’s safe to assume the goaltending won’t continue to carry the team, so unless the 50 shots thing stops, don’t expect wins.

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Game 65: Spooner St.

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john gilmour

(AP Photo/Andres Kudacki

The Rangers are at it again tonight in Calgary, and the story of the post-deadline Blueshirt world has been Ryan Spooner. Since his acquisition, Spooner has five assists in two games. Add that to Vladislav Namestnikov’s two point effort the other night, and the pair of new Rangers –who went from playoff teams to rebuilders– are doing just fine.

The defensive structure, though, is a tire fire. We expected this, though. The old adage of “Score a bunch and hope Hank makes the save” holds true. That won’t change unless the system changes. Since it won’t, we get to watch track meets. But it’s Hank’s birthday today, so maybe don’t hang him out to dry?

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Photo: Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

The dust has settled. The Rangers look completely different after deadline day. In comes Vladislav Namestnikov, Ryan Spooner, and Rob O’Gara (at least for the rest of this season). Out go Rick Nash, Michael Grabner, Nick Holden, Ryan McDonagh and JT Miller. Each trade signified a move towards a rebound. It’s a weird feeling, seeing this happen before our eyes.

But now a new chapter begins, with the Blueshirts in Vancouver tonight. All three newcomers will be in the lineup. We will be watching to see how they perform. But there is no emotion, at least for fans, tied to these games. The Blueshirts are out of the playoffs. We can watch some stress free hockey and enjoy watching these new guys. Stress free hockey, we missed you. Let’s hope your stay is short lived.

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