How far will the Rangers get this season?

The Best Team In The League Comes To Town
How will the Rangers measure up against Vancouver?

Hank will have to be on top of his game tomorrow night

Hank will have to be on top of his game tomorrow night

Canucks @ Rangers

Madison Square Garden, 7:00 Thursday night

Rangers record: 25-16-3

Canucks record: 28-8-6


After a so-so effort on Tuesday night against the Montreal Canadiens, the Rangers will host the soaring Vancouver Canucks on Thursday evening.

Vancouver, a popular preseason Stanley Cup pick, has been on an absolute tear, going 18-1-3 in their last 22 games.  The Rangers will have the “benefit” of facing Vancouver’ backup goalie, Cory Schneider.  The only problem is that Schneider, one of the top young goalies in the league, has been every bit as good as Roberto Luongo this year.  The Canucks are stacked from top to bottom.  They already had a talented group of forwards, so this summer they set out to acquire more presence on defense.  Keith Ballard and Dan Hamhuis have done just that, and now it’s hard to find a weakness on Vancouver’s roster.  The Canucks dynamic offense is led by the Sedin brothers, Daniel and Henrik, but Ryan Kesler might be playing better than either of them right now.  A popular Selke Trophy pick, Kesler has even recently been mentioned as a candidate for the Hart Trophy.  Vancouver also receives offense from Mason Raymond, Alex Burrows and Mikael Samuelsson.  The new additions on the Canucks blue line have joined Kevin Bieksa, Alex Edler and Christian Ehrhoff to form one of the deepest and most versatile defensive groups in the league.  Simply put, the Rangers have their work cut out for them.

The Blueshirts will need a far better effort than they gave Tuesday night if they are to compete with the Canucks.  If the Rangers are truly a good team in their own right as Coach John Tortorella believes, then they’ll put up a good fight tomorrow night.  Regardless of what else happens in the game, it’s pretty much a given that the Rangers will need Henrik Lundqvist to deliver one of his signature performances.  He was very good on Tuesday, but if the Rangers are to win this game, he might have to steal it by himself. 

New addition Wojtek Wolski looked pretty good in his debut, but Tortorella wants to see more from him.  Basically, Wolski is currently being entrusted with the task of jump-starting the team’s supposed superstar, Marian Gaborik.  With how things have gone lately, that looks like a tough task.  Luckily, the Rangers have had a few other guys playing like stars lately.  Mats Zuccarello has been dynamic and looks like he’s on the cusp of really breaking through while Brandon Dubinsky’s sensational season has kept right on rolling.

This will be a huge test for the extremely young Rangers defense.  The revised group looked fine on Tuesday against a small Canadiens squad, but the Canucks are a whole new ball game.  It’s a lot to ask from Ryan McDonagh, in just his fourth game, to play well against Vancouver, but that’s exactly what the Rangers need.  Marc Staal and Dan Girardi will be responsible for shutting down, make that slowing down, the Sedin brothers.

The Rangers have proven themselves against tough Eastern Conference opponents this year, but this is unmistakably a “show me” game.

Posted by Kevin Baumer | January 12, 2011 at 10:36 pm

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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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