Just the Facts:
- The Time: 3:30pm EST
- The Place: Madison Square Garden, Manhatten, New York City
- Place to Watch: y o u w i l l n e v e r e s c a p e N B C ‘ s t e n t a c u l a r g r a s p
- Place to Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub
- Opposing SBNation Blog: Blueshirt Banter
Know Your Enemy:
- By far the best player on the Rangers by a considerable margin is Artemi Panarin, who leads the team in goals, assists, and points. (his line is 29-48-77).
- The Power Play weapons of the New York Rangers are Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad, with 9 goals for each, leading in PPG for the Blueshirts.
- That Kaapo Kakko kid everyone was talking so much about on draft day has...struggled to adjust. He has 19 points in 53 games, his fancy numbers are putrid, and in general he definitely looks like somebody who needs some time in the AHL.
- It’s hard to say exactly which of the two goalies is the starter anymore for NYR: Henrik and Georgiev have started exactly 25 games and have seen roughly the same number of shots per game. Georgiev has a slight edge in SV%, and just helped New York get through a gut check win over the Jackets on Friday, so maybe it’s him, maybe it’s Henrik who jumps up.
After ritually and violently removing the monkey from their back, Boston hits the road for an extended western conference road trip!...But with a stop in New York first. I guess the schedule makers assumed they needed to get snacks before they headed to Alberta.
As for Manhatten’s team. They’re...weird. They’re some of the worst of the worst; they play hockey like the puck is made from fire ants and rabies and want it to be as far away from them as humanly possible, they’ve been hysterically bad at acknowledging that some of their better talent thrives when given ice time because Coach David Quinn’s style can be pointlessly emotionally driven to the point he’s making mistakes, and have been dragging very-not-ready-for-primetime Kaapo Kakko around like a sad kid dragging his backpack home from school...but then they end up winning games by capitalizing on their few opportunities of the game by setting Artemi Panarin or Mika Zibanejad’s magic to work, and then locking down the defensive zone thanks to Henrik Lundqvist or Alexandar Georgiev making scoring a next to impossible feat. You will do everything right and still lose if everything works out the way they want it to.
In fact, they’ve ended up on a 4 game winning streak, and are comparable to Florida in terms of record. Are either going to make the playoffs? Eh, maybe not...but it’s definitely a step in the right direction and a credit to Quinn that a team this bad could not only be above .500, but also having one of the best goal differentials of the fringe teams.
Can the Bruins start this road trip off right with an afternoon win against a surging Rangers? Tune in to find out!