After a really rough road trip, the Rangers (19-9-4) snapped their three game winless streak, ending the Oilers (14-16-2) six game win streak and heading out on their road trip following a 4-2 win.
With Dan Girardi sidelined due to a swollen knee, the Rangers needed to rely on two of their young defensive prospects, turning to Dylan McIlrath and Brady Skjei to shoulder some tough assignments and hold down the fort. They were both fantastic.
Dylan McIlrath scored his first career goal in the second period, and Brady Skjei logged 15 minutes of ice time, including over two minutes on the penalty kill. Both helped the Rangers play a much more focused, sound defensive game. Read the rest of this entry
When the Rangers (18-9-4) take on the Edmonton Oilers (14-15-2) at Madison Square Garden, one of the Rangers top defensive prospects will be making his NHL debut.
With Dan Girardi sidelined with swelling in his knee, the Ranger will start Brady Skjei, the 21 year old defenseman out of the University of Minnesota. Skjei, pronounced “shay,” debuted with the Wolf Pack at the end of last season, eventually playing on the top pairing in the playoffs. He leads Hartford defensemen with 11 points (2-9-11) in 29 games, and has nine points (2-7-9) in the last 18 games.
Skjei looked to be NHL ready right out of college, an excellent skater who has always been a shut-down type of defenseman. He has shown some offensive skills, but never blew anyone away with point production. However, he’s a good passer and his transitional skills out of the defensive zone is a big part of his game. Read the rest of this entry
Pathetic. Lowly. Disheartening. Horrendous. Abominable. There’s a multitude of words you can use to describe the Rangers (18-9-3) defensive effort in their 7-5 loss to the streaking Edmonton Oilers (13-15-2).
After kicking off the road trip with a disappointing loss to the Canucks, the Rangers could not contain the Edmonton Oilers, with the defense letting in a total of seven goals, blowing multiple ties and ruining leads that some of the forwards worked hard to attain.
Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi. Touted as two of the better defenders on the team, and counted on to shut down opposition. Realistically, they have been downright bad for the majority of this season. McDonagh was on the ice for the first six goals in the game, and Girardi the first five. They blew coverages, made mistakes and stunk up the ice tonight. Read the rest of this entry
When the Rangers (18-8-3) take on the Oilers (12-15-2) at Rexall Place for the final time, it will not just be a regular season clash between the two teams. Tonight is a special night for both Glen Sather and Alain Vigneault.
Glen Sather cemented himself in Oilers history by coaching the team to four Stanley Cups during their dynasty years of the 1980s, and overseeing a fifth as the team’s GM. He played a major role in attracting players like Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier and others by building through the draft. Sather will be honored in a pre-game ceremony and have a banner raised to the rafters.
For Alain Vigneault, the Rangers head coach will be behind the bench for his 1000th career NHL game, coming with the Canadiens, Canucks and now the Rangers. Vigneault was very reflective leading up to the game tonight, and has spoken fondly about his time with the Rangers – where he is the franchise leader in points percentage with a record of 116-61-16 and a winning percentage of .646 since the start of the 2013-14 season. Read the rest of this entry