McDavid has been a one man show in Edmonton so far.

Folks, we finally have a winning streak.  Last week, the Rangers took care of an expansion Vegas team on its fourth-string goalie (though they needed a late comeback effort to do it), and then swept the always-difficult Florida road trip.  While none of the games were perfect, the team’s process has been noticeably better since the third period of last Tuesday’s game against the Golden Knights.

This week, the Rangers continue what’s been a home-heavy early season schedule, with home games against Columbus, Boston and Edmonton.  The Garden has hardly been a fortress so far, with the Blueshirts posting a mediocre 4-4-2 record.  Despite success on the road in recent seasons, it would behoove the Rangers improve their home form, as the schedule will obviously include more road games than home games moving forward.

Monday 11/6 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (9-4-1)

Rangers/Blue Jackets has evolved into a true rivalry in recent seasons.  Lots of players have worn both teams’ sweaters and of course, John Tortorella’s presence looms large.  This season, Columbus is off to an impressive start, occupying first place in the Metropolitan Division.  At a team level, the Jackets control play to the tune of a 53.5 CF%, and generate 12.4 high danger scoring chances per game, while allowing fewer than 10 (all data from  So as the numbers suggest, Columbus generates offense, but takes care of its own end as well.  Individually, the wealth is evenly spread, with Seth Jones (defenseman) and Artemi Panarin (forward) tied for the team lead in points with 11.

Wednesday 11/8 vs. Boston Bruins (5-4-3)

Get excited fam: this week brings us the first WEDNESDAY NIGHT RIVALRY matchup involving the Rangers, when they clash with a fellow Original Six club, the Bruins.  Of course, there is no real rivalry between the two teams (anymore), but that’s besides the point.  Boston boasts a combination of the usual suspects (Marchand, Bergeron, Krejci, Chara, Rask) and youthful additions (Charlie McAvoy, Anders Bjork, Jake DeBrusk), which should make for an interesting game.  Head coach Bruce Cassidy is in his first full season after taking over for Claude Julien last February.  The Bruins have dealt with some injuries – Bergeron and Rask both missed significant time – which may explain their middling record so far.  Expect a tight game; Bruins-Rangers usually is.

Saturday 11/11 vs. Edmonton Oilers (4-8-1)

The Edmonton Oilers are probably the most intriguing story in the NHL so far this year, but for all the wrong reasons.  Connor McDavid and company were supposed to take the next step, after losing in Game 7 of the second round to Anaheim last year.  It hasn’t happened.  Instead, the supremely talented Oilers (though, as an aside: wouldn’t they love to have Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle right about now?) go into the sixth week of the NHL season with just 30 goals scored to their name.  How, you ask?  Well, according to our friends at NaturalStatTrick, the Oilers somehow have the worst shooting percentage in the league (6.1% in all situations).  So, some of it can be attributed to bad luck, but the Oilers are also top-heavy.  Beyond McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the Oilers are depending on guys like Patrick Maroon and Milan Lucic to play key supporting roles.  Combine a sputtering offense with bad goaltending – Cam Talbot’s GAA is an unsightly 3.17 – and it’s easy for things to spiral out of control quickly.


The Rangers will lose a hard-fought game to Columbus 3-2, but rebound nicely with wins over the Bruins (4-1) and Oilers (6-4).  Look for that last game to be a back and forth affair, as both teams play a fast game and are prone to trading chances.

Let us know your predictions for the week in the comments below.

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