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Rangers head to Brooklyn to battle the Islanders; Grabner out, Hrivik in

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers-vs-islanders-10-4

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

With the Rangers (17-8-1) in the midst of a rough stretch, having won just four of their last nine games, they’ll take on the lowly Islanders (9-10-5) in the first matchup this season at the Barclays Center.

The Rangers took down the Carolina Hurricanes in their last game, getting two goals from Chris Kreider and one from Michael Grabner and Derek Stepan to secure a win despite playing pretty poorly through the first two periods. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 26 of the 28 shots that he faced.

The Islanders had a dreadful start to the season, opening the season with a 5-9-1 record and sitting in last place in the league. But with a 3-0-1 record in their last four games, they’re finally starting to show signs of life. But they’re still last in the Metropolitan and have the third fewest points in the NHL. Read the rest of this entry

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Rangers open their 90th season at the Garden against the Islanders; Pirri gets the start

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers-celebrate-a-goal-zib-kreids-9-27

Photo courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images.

After an early exit in the playoffs and a lot of change on the team, the Rangers are finally back in action tonight when they take on the New York Islanders at Madison Square Garden.

This marks the first time that the Rangers begin the season at home since 2007, which makes tonight’s game even more exciting.

There’s a chance that the team will have a total of seven players skating for the first time as Rangers, with two players, Jimmy Vesey and Pavel Buchnevich, making their NHL debuts. The fourth line still has not been announced yet, but there’s a good chance it will be a completely different look. Read the rest of this entry

Rick Nash now week-to-week; Does this change the Rangers deadline approach?

Bobby Bevilacqua

rick nash profile 2-19

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Despite initial reports of being day-to-day, Rick Nash has now missed over three weeks, eight games, with a bone bruise sustained in the game against the Carolina Hurricanes. Nash took a nasty fall and crash into the boards, only to come back out on the ice and block a hard shot on the shin.

At this point, I’m finding it harder to believe that this is just a bone bruise. It could be a hairline fracture or a full-fledged fracture in one of the bones on his leg. The Rangers claim it isn’t a fracture, and just a deep bone bruise, which is a fracture to the innermost layer of bone. Whatever it is, the injury is making it hard for Nash to walk according to the Rangers.

Also, let’s get a few things clear. I’m sick and tired of the comments with people saying that the Rangers are better without him. They aren’t. He’s their most consistent forward, their most skilled forward, and their best forward. His absence is causing an imbalance on the lines, forcing both Tanner Glass and Dan Paille to play every night, which is effectively turning the Rangers into a three line team. Read the rest of this entry

Top trade targets and how the Rangers should approach the deadline

Bobby Bevilacqua

Jeff Gorton and Glen Sather

Photo courtesy of Bruce Bennet/Getty Images.

Following the conclusion of an exciting 2016 NHL All Star game, one that saw Pacific Division captain John Scott scored two goals and help led his team to the million dollar prize, the league will get back to business with games starting on Tuesday.

Perhaps more importantly is the approaching trade deadline, when the trade window closes on February 29. Team’s looking to improve their roster and make a playoff push will be inquiring about several players around the league, and the Rangers are expected to be right in the middle of it, both as buyers and sellers.

With Alain Vigneault’s misuse of Keith Yandle and his expiring contract, the Rangers may unfortunately wind up dealing him to a team looking for a puck moving defenseman. However, they’ll also likely be in the market for a top six winger to add some consistent scoring, something they really need. Read the rest of this entry