Rangers at Blue Jackets -7:00 PM MSG
Tonight is the last game of the Rangers’ longest road trip of the season. The first three games, which saw the Rangers go 3-0 through western Canada, was a test of the Rangers’ mettle and depth at forward.
The review of tonight’s game will be provided by E3. Clearly, this is an HAV.
Tonight’s probable lineup for the Rangers (13-4), via Steve Zipay (@stevezipay):
Chris Kreider-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash
J.T. Miller-Mika Zibanejad- Mats Zuccarello
Jimmy Vesey-Kevin Hayes-Jesper Fast
Oscar Lindberg-Brandon Pirri-Michael Grabner
Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Marc Staal-Nick Holden
Brady Skjei-Kevin Klein
The big news of course is Chris Kreider’s return to the lineup after missing he last two games to be examined for cervical/spinal issues. Kreider has compared his symptoms to those similar to a concussion, but he has been cleared to return to play.
The lineup, as projected by Steve Zipay, has undergone significant revision. Hot shooting Michael Grabner, who played the last two games on the first line, finds himself on the fourth line, with Kreider taking his spot on the first. I’m surprised that they didn’t find Grabner a spot on a higher line rather than keeping Jesper Fast on the third line. BDL must be thrilled.
On defense, Nick Holden and Brady Skjei have switched places again. I disagree with this decision.
Henrik Lundqvist gets the start. Adam Clendening is Prucha’d for a second straight game. Boo Nieves was returned to Hartford. Buchnevich and Jooris are both still out injured. When both are healthy, I expect Jooris to be waived.
For the Blue Jackets, (8-4-2), the headlines are all about former Rangers coach John Tortorella and the “high powered” Columbus offense. However, their early season results are heavily inflated by the 10-0 game against Montreal and the league leading power play, which is operating at an unsustainable 30.8%. I know, that’s shocking given the power play in NY under Torts, but it’s true.
This is because on the ice, it’s all about rookie defenseman Zach Werenski, who has 13 points in 14 games. Also, Sergei Bobrovsky is having a bounce back year. Torts has been happy to accept the credit.
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