Just the Facts:
The Time: 7:30pm EST
The Place: Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC
Place to Watch: Hulu, ESPN+, TVAS
Place to Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub
Opposing SBNation Blog: Blueshirt Banter
Know Your Enemy:
- It might shock you to learn that Artemi Panarin is still in fact a good player, as he’s nursing a tidy 16 points in 11 games.
- He’s not however, the leading goal scorer for the Rangers. The Rangers have a lot of skaters with at least a couple of goals, but currently top of the pile is Mika Zibanejad, who has 6 goals in 11 games, most of them on the power play.
- Alexis Lafreniere is currently at 5 points in 11 games, but in terms of square heads, he’s got to be one of the most in the entire league
- Once again, Igor Sheshterkin is a world class goaltender: .921 SV% in 8 games and looks like a Vezina finalist. Behind him is Jaroslav Halak...who is also present!
Well, they’re not entirely taking over the Metro yet (that honor belongs to the [checks notes]....Devils!?), but the New York Rangers look ready to compete full-time. Everything is working at full capacity: They’re scoring like crazy, they’re able to gut out close games as well as blowouts, and they’re fast; a lethal combo if given too much room. That said, they’re also capable of laying a real egg if things aren’t going their way: getting blanked by Sorokin on Long Island and getting blown off the map by the Blue Jackets within the last week definitely gives the impression there’s still work to be done, and there is vulnerability for it.
The Bruins meanwhile, are riding the cocaine high of that awesome game against the Penguins, and are getting Keith Kinkaid to backup Linus Ullmark after Swayman’s unfortunate injury during the last game, and of course, Derek Forbort appears to be missing some amount of time. The Bruins will have quite a bit on their hands to face this surging team of Rangers with so many of their players making their way back to Injury Mothra’s den, but if last game was any indication...
...there’s no guarantee anybody’s lead against them is safe.
We’ll find out at 7:30 tonight (assuming we can get a stream working...) if the Rangers are up to the real challenge in the NHL: A team of destiny.