Blog Archives

Rangers head back home to battle the Lightning; Kreider doubtful

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers-vs-lightning-5-22

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

After a brief stop in Carolina that resulted in a 3-2 loss, the Rangers (5-3-0) look to get back to their winning ways when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning (5-3-0) at Madison Square Garden.

In that loss to Carolina, Mats Zuccarello scored both Rangers goals, giving him four this season. Pavel Buchnevich recorded an assist in his first game back from back spasms, and Ryan McDonagh also tallied an assist, on a marvelous stretch pass, to extend his six game point streak. Mika Zibanajad’s assist kept him at a point-per-game pace through eight games (2-6-8).

The Lightning played last night in Newark, falling to the Devils by a score of 3-1. Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed three goals on 20 shots and the team’s lone goal came from Tyler Johnson. Tampa Bay has had trouble with starting slow, and that happened again when they gave up two goals in the first period to New Jersey. Read the rest of this entry

Stepan and Brassard are good, but do the Rangers need a superstar center?

Bobby Bevilacqua

derick brassard and derek stepan 5-13

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

When it comes to forward depth, especially at center, the Rangers are pretty good in that respect. Rick Nash, Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello, JT Miller, Jesper Fast, Viktor Stalberg, Kevin Hayes and Oscar Lindberg doubling as wingers.

More recently, the Rangers have seen a lot of improvement when it comes to the talent and depth of their centers. Derick Brassard and Derek Stepan have gotten better and better with each passing season, cementing themselves in the top six. Hayes has shown that he can be a playmaker down the middle, and Dom Moore and Oscar Lindberg are strong two-way forwards best suited for a bottom six role, or a fourth line player.

When the Rangers acquired Rick Nash, they were looking to add a superstar to their roster. Marian Gaborik wasn’t enough, and outside of last regular season, Nash hasn’t been a “superstar” per say. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers motivated for rematch against bruised and battered Lightning

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs lightning Game 6 faceoff 5-26

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Tonight in Tampa Bay, the red-hot Rangers (14-2-2) get their first shot at redemption against the Lightning (8-9-3), the very same team that knocked them out of the playoffs last season, just one win shy of a return trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.

While the Rangers are currently off to the best start in franchise history, the Lightning have failed to recreate their Eastern Conference Champion selves. After winning their first three games of the season, Tampa is 5-9-3 in their last 17 games, losing two straight games and four of their last five.

On top of that, they’re dealing with some substantial injures. Ondrej Palat has missed the last three games with an upper-body injury, but Tyler Johnson and Cedric Pacquette have also been dealing with injuries, and will miss tonight’s game against the Rangers. On top of that, Jonathan Druin and former-Ranger Ryan Callahan are listed as day-to-day, and are not expected to play. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers season comes to a close with shutout defeat in Game 7

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs lightning 5-29

The Rangers lost a Game 7 at Madison Square Garden for the first time in history, coming just 20 minutes short of a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

For the first time in franchise history, the Rangers lost a Game 7 on home ice, getting shutout by the Tampa Bay Lightning as they continue their quest for the Stanley Cup, and the Rangers go home for the summer.

Prior to tonight, New York was 7-0 in Game 7s played at Madison Square Garden. They earned the right to play tonight’s game on home ice by winning the President’s Trophy in the regular season. But that effectively went to waste, as the Rangers lost three of four games on home ice, and were shut out in Game 5 and 7. They scored just four goals at the Garden in this series.

The loss also snapped a 10 game win streak at Madison Square Garden in elimination games for the Rangers, as well as a six game win streak in Game 7s. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers all set for a winner takes all Game 7 at Madison Square Garden

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs lightning Game 6 faceoff 5-26

The Rangers and the Lightning will faceoff for one last time tonight at Madison Square Garden to decide who gets to play in the Stanley Cup Finals. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Following a valiant effort to avoid elimination yet again, the New York Rangers now have a chance to fight for a chance to return to the Stanley Cup Finals in front of their fans at Madison Square Garden. This crazy, unpredictable series will come to a close in the most exciting, nerve-wracking way in professional sports; Game 7.

If there is one thing this series has been, it is unpredictable. The Rangers opened with a dominating 2-1 win in Game 1, controlling the play through most of the 60 minutes. Then the Lightning outgunned the Rangers in a 6-2 Tampa win in Game 2, taking advantage of power play opportunities and mistakes. Game 3 was an offensive outburst, ending in a 6-5 Lightning win in overtime. Then the Rangers outgunned the Lightning 5-1 in Game 4 to tie the series. Tampa came back to the Garden and played very defensively, shutting out the Rangers in Game 5. And then the Rangers forced a deciding Game 7 with another offensive explosion on Tuesday.

As you can see, this series had absolutely no predictability. Nothing carried over from game to game, there hasn’t been one style of play, or one team scoring a lot of goals. Both teams have had their ups and downs, successes and failures, and that makes the buildup to tonight’s game even more unforeseeable. Read the rest of this entry