Archive for Game Thread

jesper fast

Photo Credit: Getty Images / Bruce Bennett

The Rangers are back home tonight after getting swept in their short two game road trip to take on the Ottawa Senators. They will be looking for some form of revenge against the Sens, who ousted the Rangers from the playoffs last year.

The Rangers are hanging around at .500, but that won’t be good enough (obviously) to move the needle among the fans. They need to start playing 60 minutes of hockey consistently. I can’t believe that is an actual problem for this team, but it is.

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rangers blue jackets ryan mcdonagh brandon dubinsky

The Rangers are in Columbus tonight to take on the very potent Blue Jackets, who are a threat to win the Metro this year. The Blueshirts just had their six game win streak snapped, so Alain Vigneault deemed it the right time to get the optimal lineup dressed. So Brendan Smith will return tonight, and Steven Kampfer will sit.

The story will be on how the Rangers rebound after an atrocious third period against Chicago. The slot area was basically free for the Hawks as they tacked on three goals in five minutes, all from that area. For the Rangers to win, they will need to be better at team defense. It’s not on any particular player anymore, it’s on the team and on the coach to figure stuff out.

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Nov
15

Game 19: Lucky 7’s

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AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

The Rangers are in Chicago for “Wednesday Night Rivalry” night against their bitter Blackhawks rival that they play twice a year and haven’t seen in the playoffs since there were 50 states in the Union (I don’t know if that’s true or not). That’s a very long winded way of saying the Rangers have a chance to extend their win streak to seven games.

Chicago is a weird team. They are very top heavy, but lack the depth and defense to be a legitimate contender. They also lack cap space to make moves, thanks to $23 million invested in Toews and Kane. They are a beatable team, but still potent. The defense will be tested.

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rangers oilers

The Rangers are looking for their sixth win in a row this afternoon, with the Edmonton Oilers presenting what should be a good challenge. The Oilers, while not exactly a great team this year, are a fast paced team that can basically score at will. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are just unreal talents. The problem with Edmonton is that beyond those two and one or two other guys, their depth stinks. It’s a product of bad trades.

As for the Rangers, they are winning despite some odd roster choices. But considering how badly they needed a confidence boost, you kind of just deal with it. Ride the winning streak.

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rick nash jimmy vesey kevin hayes

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

The Boston Bruins are in town tonight to take on the suddenly streaking Rangers, who are looking to make it five in a row. The Bruins are dealing with a metric ton of injuries right now. They are without Brad Marchand, David Backes, Ryan Spooner, and David Krejci. Patrice Bergeron and Tuukka Rask will play, but also missed time. That’s a whole bunch of injuries.

As for the Rangers, they aren’t changing anything up. Brendan Smith will still be sitting in favor of whatever concoction of Kampfer/Holden/Staal AV has up his sleeve. Winning doesn’t necessarily mean this works, and that trio’s numbers have shown it. But it is what it is. At this point, I’m just happy the team is banking points. Get another two tonight, please.

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Nov
06

Game 16: Four in a row?

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Photo by David Hahn/Icon Sportswire

The Rangers have woken up, or at least that’s what it looks like. They are winners of three in a row, including two in overtime. They used that run to survive October ahead of the magic number of three. It’s not the start anyone wanted, but they aren’t dead yet. There are holes, but at least they are starting to win.

That said, the three wins were against not-so-good teams. In town tonight is Columbus, and they are a pretty good team. John Tortorella adjusted his systems and is now thriving. It’s something Alain Vigneault should look long and hard at.

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Nov
04

Game 15: Make it three in a row

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jt miller jussi jokinen

For the first time all season, the Rangers enter tonight’s game against Florida after winning two in a row. A win tonight makes it a winning streak. That’s big for the Rangers, as they dug themselves so deep a hole that they needed the two wins to barely stay above the magic number of three.

The good news is that the Panthers are a mess. The better news is that the Rangers played a very good game against Tampa, one with great process that can be built upon. The best news is that a win tonight puts the Rangers just one point out of a wild card spot, and in a much better position to rebound from their horrendous start. These are all good things. Despite how we feel about certain players/coaches, we all want the team to win and succeed.

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Nov
02

Game 14: Hello, old friend

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dan girardi

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America

The Rangers are in Tampa tonight to take on the very good and very talented Lightning. The focus of the game is going to be on Alain Vigneault, as another poor showing may put his job in jeopardy. That said, if he was on a game-to-game leash, I feel like the no-show in the first period against Vegas would have done him in. But what do I know?

One of the other stories will be Dan Girardi. Girardi was a lifelong Ranger, but was bought out last summer in the cap crunch for the Rangers. No matter which side of the fence you fell on regarding Girardi’s last three years in New York, he was always a warrior on the ice who left it all out there. That part has never been in question.

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Oct
31

Game 13: Scary night against Vegas

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oscar lindberg

The Rangers face the Vegas Golden Knights for the first time in history tonight. But that’s not the story. Apparently Alain Vigenault is on a game-to-game leash. Apparently there is a ton of smoke around Montreal and the Rangers. And apparently four big-wigs took in that Montreal/Ottawa game last night after being at Rangers/Montreal over the weekend. Something is brewing.

To the task at hand: The Rangers need two points desperately. A win keeps them under the four point threshold we’ve been talking about all month. A loss has them at five points out, which is a hole that could be too deep to climb out. This is a good spot to get points, as Vegas is on there 120th string goalie and on the second of a back to back.

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chris kreider

Photo Credit: AP / Graham Hughes

The Rangers beat the worst team in the NHL the other night. It’s a start. The kids shined, but it wasn’t perfect. That said, it’s a game that can be used as a stepping stone. Up next is an equally bad Montreal club that is the only team in the East worse than the Rangers at the moment (Buffalo doesn’t count). So if the Rangers are to build on their win, this is the team to do it against.

Ondrej Pavelec, who was good but not solid, gets the start over Henrik Lundqvist. Surely that will stir some controversy. That said, it’s probably just Alain Vigneault trying not to change anything when there’s a win. I’m sure we’ve all heard that before. At this point it doesn’t matter. Just get points.

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