Archive for Game Thread
After sweeping the Western Canada road trip, the Rangers are in Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets. CBJ is halfway decent this year at 8-4-2, and a +14 goal differential, but they also have a 10-0 whooping of the Canadiens under their belt. Outside of that win, they aren’t all that impressive so far. They don’t have the speed to match the Rangers, so they will need to rely on clogging the neutral zone and the slot.
As for the Rangers, they haven’t played their best lately. They may have put up a touchdown on Vancouver, but they only took 18 shots and played a pretty poor first period. It’s not alarming yet, just something to take note of as the season goes on. They’ve played down to their opponents a few times now, and should be looking to stop that trend tonight.
The Rangers have started off this trip through Western Canada with two wins, and are looking to complete the sweep in Vancouver tonight. They will be doing so shorthanded, as they are without Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich tonight, both dealing with upper body injuries. Boo Nieves has been recalled and will play his first professional game tonight.
The last time these two teams squared off, the Rangers played down to their opponent. The Canucks won a disappointing game, snapping their nine-game losing streak. For the Rangers to show they are for real, they need to dominate bad teams like Vancouver from start to finish.
After last night’s dismantling of the Calgary Flames, the Rangers travel to Edmonton to complete two sweeps. A win tonight in Edmonton would sweep the series against the Oilers, and also sweep the Alberta trip. The Oilers are not as bad as the Flames, as they have some serious offensive talent in their top-nine. That said, they lack defensive depth, and are 2-4-1 after their hot 7-1-0 start.
For the Rangers, they will look to build on the win last night, which came after a disheartening loss to the Canucks. A strong win against a potentially deadly offense represents another step in the right direction for a team that has proven to be dominant thus far this season. But to do that, they need to ensure they stop playing down to their opponents.
After laying an egg at home against the lowly Canucks, the Rangers hit the road for their annual trip through Western Canada. First stop on the trip is Calgary, where the Flames and their Vancouver-esque record await. This is another trap game for the Rangers, as Calgary is a pretty bad team as well.
The Flames have some top end skill, but haven’t found a consistent winger that fits with Johnny Hockey and Boring Monahan. It’s been a rotation for the first 15 games of the year for Calgary, and outside of those two and their top three blue liners, this team is a train wreck.
So yes, it’s a trap game.
The Rangers have scored at least five goals in each of their last five games. The Rangers have failed to score at least three goals just three times this season. And as we know, Papa John’s gives out discounts when that happens. Long story short, Papa John’s is probably regretting this decision. We actually spoke about this in the podcast, which you should be listening to.
There’s no reason why the streak should stop –aside from, you know, regression– against the lowly Canucks either. Vancouver is terrible. They don’t score, they don’t defend. They don’t hockey well. They don’t hockey well at all.
So, this is a trap game. Let’s see if this year’s Rangers team gets caught.
The Rangers are back home tonight after dismantling the Bruins. Tonight it’s the Winnipeg Jets, who the Rangers seem to be talking to regularly concerning Jacob Trouba. Trouba wants out of Winnipeg, and the Rangers appear to be more than happy to take him off Winnipeg’s hands. However the asking price is too high at the moment. Perhaps tonight is a night where the Rangers showcase some players to sweeten the pot?
Winnipeg is sitting at a mediocre 5-6-1, but would likely be better if they had any kind of consistent goaltending. Connor Hellebuyck is sitting at a .913 SV%, best on the team. That’s not good at all. On paper, the Jets are pretty top heavy, with some serious talent in the top-six and top pair. However the talent level dips after that, making them another prime matchup for the Rangers and their speed.
After a dramatic comeback win against the Oilers on Thursday, the Rangers are in Boston to take on a fully healthy Bruins team. The last time these two faced off, the Rangers dismantled the Bruins, who were without a few of their starters. This time around, they will have Tuukka Rask in net, which instantly makes the game a better matchup for the Bs.
That said, the Rangers have been all over most teams this season with their speed. Outside of the Bruins top line, few players on their roster are going to be able to keep up. On their blue line, only Torey Krug has the skating ability to keep up with the Rangers forwards. If the Rangers can continue to use their speed through the neutral zone and relentless forecheck to their advantage, they should come out with the W.
At long last, Rangers fans get to see Connor McDavid live at MSG. But it’s not just his team, as the Oilers have come out of the gate strong with a 7-2-1 record. The interesting thing is that they’ve allowed 22 goals over those ten games, the same as the Rangers. Cam Talbot has had a good start as well.
The Oilers are a relatively deep club, with three dangerous scoring lines. However their blue line leaves a lot to be desired, and outside of two or three guys, aren’t very mobile. This should be a very high scoring game with a lot of action. Should be fun to watch.
After completely dismantling the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday, the Rangers are back at it tonight to wrap up the season series with the St. Louis Blues. These two teams squared off in St. Louis for the second game of the season, with St. Louis barely holding onto a 3-2 win despite being dominated by the Rangers from start to finish.
Tonight is also the last time Kevin Shattenkirk plays at MSG until he’s eventually traded to the Rangers this season or signs in the offseason. So get your looks in now and see how he can handle defensive zone coverage against a speedy team.
In all seriousness, the Blues are another great test for the Rangers, as they are again a top team in the Central Division and Western Conference.
After a lackluster performance in Carolina which led to their three game win streak being snapped, the Rangers are back in action tonight against the Lightning. The Bolts are expected to be a Cup contender this year, and are off to a relatively decent start with a 5-3 record, identical to the Rangers. If you expect the Wings to fall and the Habs to come to Earth, then the Bolts are the easy favorite to win their division.
The Rangers are a much better matchup against the Bolts than years past, with speed being the primary focus. The Bolts have a more mobile defense, which might give them the advantage over the Rangers. That said, the Rangers forwards have been blowing by all types of blue lines. So maybe this trend will continue.