“There’s no dollar sign on a piece of mind this I’ve come to know. So if you agree have a drink with me. Raise your glasses for a toast…” — Zac Brown Band, Chicken Fried
Rangers’ fans it’s time to raise your glasses for a toast; to Henrik Lundqvist.
For 13 seasons the man affectionately known as “The King” has been the one constant for the Blueshirts.
And he will continue to be the one constant for the franchise.
On Friday afternoon Lundqvist reaffirmed his marriage to the Rangers when he told The NY Post’s Larry Brooks:
“I made a commitment to this organization a few years back. It was a big decision in my career. I hope they have the same commitment to me. It would really be up to them if they have another idea, but I don’t. I want to be here.”
In the midst of a season that will likely see the Blueshirts become sellers for the first time in over a decade, Lundqvist — like so many married couples do — decided to renew his vows.
“I want to play for one organization. This one. I love it here. I want to be here and battle through the ups and downs, the good and the bad. It’s important to me.”
Lundqvist will look to show his love for the only NHL franchise he’s ever played for when he takes on the defending Western Conference champion Predators Saturday night; in the heart of Music City.
And in the land where country music reigns supreme, the Blueshirts hope their royal leader has one more chart-topping hit in him.
DEEP ROOTED CONNECTIONS
New Blueshirts’ toughman Cody McLeod played parts of the last two seasons in Nashville (2016-17 and 2017-18).
With the 66th overall pick (third-round) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft the Predators selected Jimmy Vesey. But Vesey decided to remain at school until he signed with the Rangers as a collegiate Free Agent prior to the start of the 2016-17 season.
Nashville Head Coach Peter Laviolette suited up for 12 games with the Rangers during the 1988-89 season.
Mats Zuccarello: The scrappy winger is closing in on more career milestones. He is six goals and one point away from 100 and 300 respectively in his NHL career.
Rick Nash: The veteran winger is four points away from 800 in his illustrious NHL career.
J.T. Miller: The skilled former first-round draft pick has always shown tremendous poise with the puck. And his playmaking abilities have him closing in on 100 career assists; he’s six away.
PLAYER TO WATCH
PREDATORS: P.K. SUBBAN. Nashville’s resident showman is also the team’s leading-scorer. And with 20 points in his last 20 games, Subban is certainly living up to his reputation as one of the best offensive defensemen in the NHL. It’s safe to say the Predators are thrilled with the outcome of the June 2016 trade that brought Subban to the Music City in exchange for their beloved captain Shea Weber.
RANGERS: HENRIK LUNDQVIST. His Majesty is desperately trying to lead his loyal subjects to the promised land. But Lundqvist is fighting a two-theatre war. In one theatre he has to stave off the missile shots flung his way by opposing skaters. In the other theatre he’s doing battle with an undefeated entity; Father Time.
While Henrik remains one of the best puck-stopper in the league, he has been pulled in each of his two previous starts. And that’s where the battle with Father Time comes into play. Father Time is the only undefeated entity in existence. Eventually even the mightiest warriors fall prey to his tactics.
And at 35-years-old Lundqvist is no spring chicken. He played an awful lot of games in the first-half of the season; with a subject defense in front of him to boot. Henrik is being forced into more and more difficult situations, and as the season wears on his body will continue to revolt.
If Lundqvist is going to save his and his teammates’ season from collapsing he’s going to need rest and some help.
Another one bites the dust.
As the name of the famous Queen song implies, the Rangers have lost another player to injury.
Already without Chris Kreider and Kevin Shattenkirk for the foreseeable future, the Blueshirts were dealt another blow Friday afternoon.
Sophomore-winger Pavel Buchnevich is set to miss an undetermined number of games with a concussion; the result of a second period collision with Toronto’s Jake Gardiner on Thursday night.
With Buchnevich sidelined, Paul Carey returns to the lineup.
Other then that, the lineup should remain the same as it was against Toronto.
WHERE TO WATCH
The game will be broadcast on MSG Networks at 8 pm ET. For in-game coverage check out our Twitter account @NYRBlueBulletin.
It won’t be easy, but the Rangers desperately need to secure two points Saturday night.
And as the team continues its’ slide down the standings, the only thing fans can hope for is a “Music City Miracle.”