How far will the Rangers get this season?

Game Day Weekend Edition: New York Visits The Bruins Tonight And Will Host The Rival Devils Tomorrow
The Blueshirts will need to play as well as they did on Thursday night to come away with points this weekend

The rest of the Rangers need to match Ryan Callahan's nightly efforts

The rest of the Rangers need to match Ryan Callahan's nightly efforts

Rangers @ Bruins

TD Garden, 7:00 p.m. Saturday

Rangers record 2-2-1

Bruins record: 4-1-0

Devils @ Rangers

Madison Square Garden, 7:00 p.m. Sunday

Devils record 2-4-1


The Rangers have back-to-back games this weekend against the streaking Boston Bruins tonight and the sputtering New Jersey Devils on Sunday.  They’ll be looking to build momentum after an encouraging 2-1 victory over Toronto on Thursday night, but they’ll have to do it against two of the Eastern Conference’s best teams.    

Boston is 4-1-0 and ranks first in the NHL in goals against, fifth in goals scored, eighth on the power play, and second on the penalty kill.  In other words, the Rangers have their work cut out for them.  Boston’s biggest problem last year was a complete lack of offense; a problem the Bruins attacked aggressively this offseason with a trade for Nathan Horton, who has four goals and seven points, and the drafting of Tyler Seguin who has a goal and two assists.  Bruiser Milan Lucic is also healthy and has tallied three goals and six points.  Surprisingly for the Bruins, Tim Thomas appears to have re-claimed the starting job in net, at least for the short-term, with a tremendous start to the season to the tune of a .978 save percentage and .75 GAA.  But luckily for the Rangers it appears the Bruins will give Tuukka Rask the start at home against the Rangers in an attempt to revive his confidence.  Rask is no slouch though; he had a phenomenal season in 2009.  The Bruins are also extremely deep on defense led by Zdeno Chara.  This will be a very difficult road game for the Rangers to win.  They always have trouble with the Bruins to begin with, and given Boston’s hot start and the Rangers’ weakened lineup, this could be a struggle.  The first key for the Rangers will be to stay out of the penalty box, as Boston could steal the game quickly with a power play goal or two.  Secondly, it would be huge for the Rangers to score first and capitalize on their power play opportunities.  Boston is a contender in the East, and for the Rangers to beat them they’ll have to bring their A-game as we saw Thursday night.  Anything less won’t get it done against a Bruins team that’s firing on all cylinders. 

The Rangers will follow up their tough match against Boston with a rivalry game at Madison Square Garden against the Devils on Sunday night.  The Devils will host the Sabres tomorrow evening, and like the Rangers, will be playing their third game in four nights.  New Jersey has had a difficult start to the season with several injuries and a struggle to ice a normal amount of skaters due to salary cap woes.  But after losing their first three games, the Devils have won two of their last four and shut out Montreal on Thursday night.  Johan Hedberg is expected to make his first start of the season in goal tomorrow night meaning the Rangers will face annual foe Martin Brodeur.  Brodeur got the shutout Thursday but has been slow to get going in 2010.  It’s been well documented that the Devils threw themselves into quite the salary cap quandary by signing Ilya Kovalchuk, but they know that Brodeur’s career is coming to an end and are trying to win now while still looking toward changes in the future by creating a high powered offense.  Kovalchuk and Zach Parise are the Devils’ stars, the best offensive duo they’ve ever had, but New Jersey also has a lot of secondary scoring with Jason Arnott, Jamie Langenbrunner, Patrik Elias and Travis Zajac.  The Devils lost Paul Martin to free agency but brought in Henrik Tallinder and Anton Volchenkov and may be even better on defense.  There’s not much doubt that the Devils will be a top five seed in the Eastern Conference when all is said and done, but with a lot of new parts and changing identity, they’re going through a rough patch.  That means it’s a good time for the Rangers to play them.  But like it will be against the Bruins, the Rangers can’t afford to take penalties or fail to capitalize on their own opportunities.  Rangers games against the Devils are typically low scoring which is good considering who the Rangers are missing, but they’ll have to find a way to score against arguably the greatest goalie ever and a much-improved Devils’ offense. 

This weekend’s games will be an awfully tough test for the Rangers, and would be even if they were at full strength.  If the Rangers play with their hearts on their sleeves as they did against Toronto, there’s no reason they can’t come away with a couple points.  But anything less than their best effort could see the Rangers stumble to 2-4-1.  

Posted by Kevin Baumer | October 23, 2010 at 11:49 am

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New York Rangers VS Chicago Blackhawks
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

  1 2 3 OT F
Rangers 3 0 0 - 3
Blackhawks 1 1 0 - 2

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