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The question of whether the Rangers could flip the proverbial switch had been asked, rightly, of a team that had little to play for over the last six weeks of the regular season. It took about a period, but the Rangers did just that, playing a very solid road game and taking a 1-0 series lead over the favored Canadiens, winning game one by the final score of 2-0.

The winning goal came from an unlikely source: Tanner Glass.   Glass has been a lightning rod for debate among the Blueshirts faithful since his acquisition, but there was no questioning his impact on this game. Read More→

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Brendan Gallagher and Andrew Shaw will make life miserable for Henrik Lundqvist

New York’s group of forwards is surely better than 12th-best in the playoff field, but you can throw the team’s gaudy offensive stats out the window heading into this series.

The great equalizer, as the Blueshirts well know, is goaltending and Carey Price has been locked in for the last several weeks after an inauspicious start to the season.

So though this matchup is probably where New York should enjoy its biggest edge over Montreal, it would be foolish to expect the Blueshirts to simply outgun the Canadiens. Read More→

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Game 80: Resting the stars

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Disclaimer: I know I’m trolling with this gif. It was a while ago and it’s still hilarious. Even the staunchest Girardi supporters have to find this to be funny. If it makes you feel any better, in one of my games I covered the puck (I’m a goalie), and shuffled it from my glove to someone who I thought was on my time. He was not. Empty net. I laugh about it now.

The Rangers are in Washington tonight to take on the Eastern Conference favorites. This is the cream of the crop. The team that is likely to come out of the East. Everything is coming up Capitals lately. Guaranteed to win the East. I think if I say this enough, I can curse them.

Tonight is another night where the Rangers take precautions and rest their stars. Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello, Ryan McDonagh, and Jesper Fast (albeit not a star) are all scratched tonight. The Caps are dressing most of their ‘A’ roster, as they can clinch the President’s Trophy with a win.

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Game 75: Boy the Kings are a mess

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matt puempel mats zuccarello

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

The Rangers are out West tonight, taking on the LA Kings. This is not the same Kings team that has been perennial Cup contenders. This Kings team is old, slow, and is not making the playoffs. They are a product of bad contracts and a misunderstanding of how the game has evolved to speed and skill over toughness. Their time came (two Cups) and has since left.

As for the Rangers, they are starting to get healthy. Dan Girardi returns tonight. Henrik Lundqvist will return tomorrow. Kevin Klein is coming back on this trip. The Blueshirts have a rare opportunity to get the injured players up to speed while resting some others than may need a game or two off. These games –at least the results– are meaningless. What matters most is process. Forecheck, good defense, better special teams. Get that working, and there is long term success waiting.

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brady skjei

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Newsday

The Rangers lost to the Isles last night, making it 0-5-2 at home in the last seven games. This while blowing a third period lead as well. But it wasn’t all bad. The Rangers looked pretty good, just had some bad bounces. There are some gripes, sure. But honestly these games are meaningless at this point. I was at the game, so no goal breakdown. On to the tweets.

I’m leading with my own tweet because, what gives? Is it because it was an 8pm start? MSG was empty for a Rangers/Isles game.

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Photo: Jim McIsaac

I was at the game last night, so there is no goal breakdown. With that in mind, I enjoy breaking out these Twitter breakdowns here and there. So let’s have at it.

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February 7th is You Can Play Night at MSG

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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. The Rangers will celebrate You Can Play during tomorrow night’s game against the Ducks.

The details of the event can be found here. 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.

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There’s still work to be done

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The New York Rangers started off strong and then tapered off in the first half of the season, largely due to their shooting percentage descending back down from the heavens, but also in part due to injuries to three of their top six forwards. Rick Nash, Mika Zibanejad, and Pavel Buchnevich all spent significant time on injured reserve, and their collective return has helped the Rangers find more of a scoring touch and get the most out of their forward depth. Still, with the way the last few games have been going, there’s work to be done.

Let’s start with the positive: DJ ZBad, Buch, and Nash are all finally back, and their return should be a major help as we head into the second half of the season. Zibanejad, although he’s only played two games so far, has recorded two goals for a P60 of 4.17. He’s also helped reinvigorate the Rangers’s power play, with his one-timer proving to be a serious threat that other teams now have to respect. Lastly, although it’s an incredibly small sample size, he’s got a 56.92 CF% for a relCF% of 8.77.

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Steven McDonald passes away

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Sad news to report here, as office Steven McDonald has passed away at the age of 59 today. McDonald suffered a massive heart attack earlier in the week, and passed away today. McDonald, an NYPD officer, was shot on July 12, 1986, an incident that left him as a quadriplegic.

The Rangers have honored McDonald every year since the shooting by presenting the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award each season since 1987-88 to the Rangers player who goes above and beyond the normal call of duty.

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Season’s Greetings from BSB

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From the entire BSB family: Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus, Happy New Year, Happy whatever holiday you celebrate. Use this as your open thread for today. Hockey is on its second day of the mandated three day break for the holidays. However there are two football games on TV today. I think there’s some basketball too, but to be honest, I don’t follow the NBA.

Just for some fun:

  • What did you want for the holidays? Did you get it?
  • Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings, or Merry Christmas? Does it matter
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