Archive for Game Thread

Feb
07

Game 54: You Can Play

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Late last week, we learned that Mats Zuccarello would be the Rangers Ambassador for You Can Play. The You Can Play project is a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the LGBTQ community and fighting homophobia in sports. Tonight is You Can Play Night at MSG.  A special table will be set up at Section 113/114 where fans can talk to a representative and learn more about the organization and their initiatives. There will also be an online auction, and 100% of the auction’s proceeds will benefit the You Can Play Project.

As for the game itself, the Rangers are taking on potential trade match Anaheim. The Ducks have a ton of defensemen but lack cheap scoring. They are top heavy up front but deep on defense. It’s going to be an interesting matchup. Perhaps the Rangers get a good, long look at Josh Manson.

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Feb
05

Game 53: Properly inflated pucks

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Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images

The Rangers are at home today in a Super Bowl LI kickoff pregame, taking on the Calgary Flames. The Flames are pretty bad, with limited scoring depth and bad goaltending. Outside of their top three blue liners, they are weak there as well. All in all, the Rangers are better than Calgary, so this makes for a solid trap game.

I checked with officials ahead of time, and they assured me that the pucks will be properly inflated for the game. That’s good, we don’t want any distractions and sidebar conversations during the game. It would take away from the on-ice product. Am I right?
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Feb
02

Game 52: New lines, better result?

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Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images

After Tuesday night’s debacle against Columbus, the Rangers are back on the road to Buffalo tonight to take on the very potent Sabres. Buffalo is built a lot like the Rangers, with solid talent up front and a weak blue line. Buffalo has a habit of making the Rangers look bad lately, so this isn’t a push over game.

For the Rangers, they need to get back to basics on defense. It’s disturbing how bad they’ve been, and how often they allow high-danger shots on Henrik Lundqvist. Hank has looked human too, which is something we aren’t used to seeing. Perhaps if the high-danger chances subside, Hank will get back to his normal form? It’s a tall order.

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Jan
31

Game 51: Fresh start after a week off

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The Rangers begin their post All Star Game run tonight against Columbus, one of the few teams with a better record than the Rangers right now. The Blue Jackets are second in the Metro, five points ahead of the Rangers with a game in hand. In the world of three point games and loser points, it’s unlikely the Rangers catch them.

The Rangers aren’t drawing Sergei Bobrovsky tonight, so that’s always a good thing. But the Blue Jackets are skilled up and down the lineup and on the blue line. There’s a reason why they went on their run. This is a tough team to face.

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Jan
25

Game 50: Going for four in a row

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matt puempel

AP Photo/Derik Hamilton

The Rangers are back in action tonight on NBCSN Rivalry Night –oh hey, an actual rivalry on Rivalry Night! Novel concept– looking to make it four in a row before the All Star Break. Luckily for the Rangers, they are facing a Flyers team that is struggling mightily after their ten-game win streak. They have solid forwards, but their defense is a train wreck because they use Andrew MacDonald on the top pair for some reason.

Henrik Lundqvist’s strong play has been the story lately, and it’s good to see The King get back into form. All things considered, he’s going to need to be top notch going forward. He’s certainly capable, and tonight would be a fourth straight strong game from him.

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Jan
23

Game 49: Building on Hank’s strong play

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rangers kings 2015

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

The Rangers are back home tonight to take on the LA Kings after winning games in Toronto and Detroit. The wins are nice, albeit somewhat flawed, but the key thing is that Henrik Lundqvist was strong. After a season of ups and downs, Hank was focused and making key saves in both games. That’s something the Rangers will desperately need going forward.

But in come the formidable Kings tonight. Despite the record, they are always a difficult team to play against. The Kings are decent on defense, but they just haven’t been scoring that much. They have very little scoring depth, which plays into the Rangers’ strengths. They are a team that will try to grind the opposition into exhaustion, but the overall team speed for the Rangers will make it tough for LA to do that.

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Jan
22

Game 48: Detroit really isn’t good

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Just wanted to troll a bit (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Rangers are in Detroit today looking to beat a pretty bad team, something they’ve been struggling to do lately. The Wings are going to miss the playoffs after about 400 years in a row of making them. They have some pretty solid young talent up front, and it’s only recently that they’ve been starting to play more over the veterans. On the blue line, they are almost as bad as the Rangers, but not quite totally bad.

As for the Rangers, well we know where they stand at this point.

Disclaimer: I’m in New Orleans, and wrote this before I flew out Thursday. I did the best I could to predict the lineups. Considering this was done a few days in advance, it’s likely off.

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Jan
19

Game 47: It can’t get much worse

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The Rangers are in Toronto tonight to take on the Leafs, a team that is a lot better than you might think. They beat the Rangers the last time they faced each other, and this time the Leafs are facing damaged goods. The Rangers were laughably bad against Dallas on Tuesday. On the bright side, they can’t get much worse. Right? RIGHT?

It’s been a rocky road for the Rangers, who have been either flat or flat out humiliated for an alarming number of recent games. The defense needs to defend. The forwards need to back check. The goalie needs to make more saves on shots he should be stopping. They all need to get their acts together.

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Jan
17

Game 46: Finally healthy

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After going 0-2 in their Ontario stretch, and playing relatively poor hockey to boot, the Rangers are back in action tonight to take on the struggling yet potent Dallas Stars. The Stars have a ton of scoring depth, but inconsistent defense and goaltending has plagued them all year. When you factor in that the potent offense is more bark than bite right now, you get a team that should make the playoffs currently on the outside looking in.

As for the Rangers, they are finally healthy up front. Mika Zibanejad makes his return tonight after recovering from a broken leg. The forwards are finally healthy, and likely will look like this going forward. This is the same group that lit up the entire league in October. Hopefully it won’t take them long to get reacquainted and find that scoring touch again. The team could surely use it.

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The Rangers are in Montreal tonight on the second of back to backs to face the Canadiens and Carey Price. This could be a first round matchup in April, as the Rangers are likely to finish fourth in the Metro with the top wild card with the Habs winning the Atlantic. I know, it’s premature. But I like to poke the bear sometimes too.

As for the Habs, they are mostly Carey Price. He always gives them a chance to win on any given night. Outside of him, they are top-heavy with not much depth. But they are without Alex Galchenyuk and Andrei Markov tonight. Even so, they are going to win the Atlantic for a reason. Plus the Rangers seem to struggle in the Bell Centre for some reason.

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