Just the facts
When: Tonight, 7 PM
Where: TD Garden - Boston, MA
How to follow: NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub
Rival SBN site: Blueshirt Banter
Know your enemy
- 20-20-7, 47 PTS, 6th in the Metropolitan Division
- Mika Zibanejad: 15G-27A-42PTS; Chris Kreider: 22G-15A-37PTS; Kevin Hayes: 10G-23A-33PTS
- Henrik Lundqvist: 14-12-7, 3.04 GAA, .908 save percentage
- As of right now, it looks like the game is carrying on as scheduled at 7 PM. Chances are, plenty of fans and media aren’t going to bother making the trek into town for the game, as the weather could be pretty bad. It’s not supposed to be too bad until around midnight, but it’s one of those things where it might not be worth it to deal with the weather.
- This game features plenty of interesting “returns” of sorts. David Quinn will be behind the bench after spending plenty of time behind the bench over at Boston University. Kevin Shattenkirk is another former terrier. Kevin Hayes, from Dorchester (the best place in the world, ranked), will be back in town but is out with an injury. Ryan Lindgren, part of the Rick Nash trade, looks like he’ll play in his third NHL game. Jimmy Vesey of Charlestown will be here. IT’S A BIG REUNION!
- Finally, there’s Adam McQuaid. McQuaid is making his first trip back to Boston since he was shipped out of town. Chances are pretty good this is McQuaid’s only trip back to Boston as a Ranger; the Blueshirts aren’t back in town until March 27, and McQuaid will likely get dealt at the deadline.
- A video montage for McQuaid is almost a given, right?
- Speaking of the deadline, the Rangers are going to be busy. It seems like a given that they’ll trade Hayes, who is a UFA at season’s end. The Bruins have been rumored to be among the teams with interest. Mats Zuccarello is also likely to be on the move. Throw in a McQuaid deal and it’ll be a busy deadline on Broadway.
- The Bruins aren’t likely to make any major lineup shifts tonight. Tuukka Rask will start, Peter Cehlarik will remain in, etc. The switches should revolve around John Moore and Matt Grzelcyk, then a possible swap on the fourth line. However, with David Backes scoring Thursday, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Bruce Cassidy leave that alone.
- After tonight, the Bruins will be off for ten days, a welcome mid-season vacation. The Rangers’ bye week starts after tonight as well.
- It looks like one goalie should leave the building with a milestone tonight: Rask will become the Bruins’ all-time wins leader with a win, and Henrik Lundqvist will become the goalie with the sixth-most wins in NHL history with a victory.
- I feel bad for Henrik Lundqvist. He’s approaching the end of his career, and is easily one of the best goalies of his era. Too often, he’s been tasked with carrying fatally flawed teams as far as he can. I can’t help but think he may want to retire as a Ranger, but also wonder if he’d accept a deal to try to win somewhere for a year or two.
Stay safe in the snow!