Blog Archives

Rangers kick off second half against the Blue Jackets; Staal and Fast expected to play

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers-vs-blue-jackets-11-18

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

  • New York Rangers (31-17-1, 63 PTS) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (32-12-4, 68 PTS)
  • The Rangers were shutout in their last game against the Flyers. New York played an outstanding game despite not getting any goals, and they had the majority of the chances and had the two points stolen away by Steve Mason, who made 34 saves. There’s no such thing as a “feel good” loss, but this is about as close as you can get to one of them.
  • The Blue Jackets lost their last game against the Nashville Predators, 4-3, and have lost two straight games. Columbus had an incredible 16 game win streak earlier in the season, and since that was snapped, they’ve been about a .500 team. However, they still have the second most points in the league and have played well in their recent losses.

THE MATCHUP

  • This is the third of five meetings between the Rangers and the Blue Jackets and the first of two at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers, playing their 50th game tonight, won the last meeting on Jan. 7, erasing a three goal deficit and getting a four point night from Michael Grabner, including a hat trick. The teams have split the first two games of the series so far.
  • The Rangers have won eight of the last nine games against Columbus, dating back to Jan. 16, 2015, going 8-1-0 over that time span.
  • The Rangers sit just five points behind the Blue Jackets in the Metropolitan Division standings, so this game has important implications for playoff seeding.

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Rangers aim to end slump and clinch playoff spot on the road against Columbus

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs blue jackets faceoff 10-10

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

The Rangers (43-26-9) have had two straight chances to clinch a playoff spot, and lost in regulation against non-playoff teams in both of those games. Tonight, they have another shot at putting that checkmark next to their names when they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets (31-39-8).

Things have been bad for the Rangers lately. They’ve lost three straight games, including two bad losses to teams that they should have beaten. Defensive lapses, some bad goaltending, and poor play with the puck has doomed them. The defensive coverage has been embarrassing at best and the usual culprits have been the main offenders. The offense has been lacking at times, often sitting back and not pressing, or just not being able to transition the puck and create anything. Read the rest of this entry

How Swede it is! Lundqvist, Lindberg power Rangers to 5-2 win over Columbus

Bobby Bevilacqua

Henrik Lundqvist and Kreider and McDonagh 10-10

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The Rangers can thank Sweden for their win tonight.

The Rangers (3-0-0) cruised to a 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets (0-2-0), winning their third straight game to start the year, all three of the games being home openers.

Out of the three games to start the season, this was easily the best for Vigneault’s squad. They made sure to jump on the Blue Jackets early, trying to neutralize any intentions of a physical start. Despite playing their third game in four night, the team looked very fresh, and totally dominated the early stages of the game.

The only lineup change came on the fourth line, with Tanner Glass making his season debut, replacing Jesper Fast on the fourth line. This was likely made as a response to the physical nature of Columbus. Glass had a decent game, recording two shots on goal and seven hits, and finishing with a plus one rating. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers come home to MSG for second round with the Blue Jackets

Bobby Bevilacqua

Rangers huddle 10-7

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

Hockey at the Garden is finally back.

The Rangers (2-0-0) are back under the lights at Madison Square Garden for the first time this season to finish off a home and home series with the Columbus Blue Jackets (0-1-0). The Rangers will play five of their next six games on home ice.

Under improbable circumstances, Alain Vigneault’s squad showed resiliency yet again, overcoming a 2-1 deficit by scoring three goals in 1:17 to secure a 4-2 road victory. Mats Zuccarello scored twice in the game, while Oscar Lindberg scored his second goals in as many games to begin his first full NHL season. Henrik Lundqvist was great again, stopping 31 of the 33 shots that he faced.

For tonight, Lundqvist is expected to start his third game in four nights. Vigneault wanted him to get off to a good start and get a nice workload early, so expect him between the pipes for the home opener. The Rangers also have a total of 17 back to backs this season, and there is plenty of opportunity for Raanta to start. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers explode for three late goals to give Vigneault 100th win in New York

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs blue jackets 10-9

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

There is a heated rivalry brewing between the Rangers and the Blue Jackets, and the disdain for each other was on full display tonight.

Despite improbable circumstances, the Rangers score three goals in a span of 77 seconds to propel them over the Blue Jackets, spoiling their home opener and heading back to Madison Square Garden after a 4-2 win and with a 2-0 record.

For large stretches of the night, Columbus was the aggressor, energized by their home fans and looking to make an impact in the first game of the season. But the Rangers weathered the storm, played an excellent defensive game, and grinded out another road win.

The victory also gave Alain Vigneault his 100th win as the head coach of the Rangers, becoming the 10th head coach to win 100 regular season games with the Rangers. He was the fastest to reach that total out of the 10. Read the rest of this entry