“Welcome to the jungle we take it day by day. If you want it you’re gonna bleed but it’s the price to pay.” — Guns N’ Roses, Welcome to the Jungle
Just like the legendary rock band says; the Rangers need to take things day-by-day.
The Blueshirts are in the midst of a full on rebuild. And after stripping away the core of the team at the Trade Deadline, the new guys have to show what they’re made of if they wish to stick around for next season.
Wins and Losses hardly matter at this point. But the key to determining who stays and who goes, is effort.
There’s no question the team is young and inexperienced. But some players are going to have to show they can take the next step in their development if they want to be apart of the team’s future.
A thrilling overtime victory against Vancouver was the start.
Now it’s up to the current Blueshirts to keep it going.
DEEP ROOTED CONNECTIONS
Marek Hrivik spent parts of two seasons in New York (2015-16 and 2016-17).
Kevin Hayes and Johnny Gaudreau played together at Boston College for three seasons (2011-12 – 2013-14). And for one season (2011-12) Hayes and Gaudreau were joined by Chris
Kreider. The trio led the Eagles to a victory in the National Championship.
They say blood is thicker than water. We’ll find out if that’s true when cousins Kevin Hayes and Matthew Tkachuk face-off.
Mats Zuccarello: The scrappy winger is four goals away from 100 in his NHL career.
Mika Zibanejad: The Rangers’ top-line center is four goals away from 100 in his NHL career.
Kevin Hayes: The Blueshirts’ do-it-all-center is four assists shy of 100 in his NHL career.
Alain Vigneault: The well respect Head Coach is approaching his 1,200th game behind the bench; he’s two away.
Henrik Lundqvist: The future Hall-of-Fame goaltender is closing in on another career milestone; he’s four appearances away from 800.
Pavel Buchnevich: The Russian-winger is closing in on the century mark for games played; he’s three away.
PLAYER TO WATCH
FLAMES: JOHNNY GAUDREAU. As Johnny Hockey goes, so do the Flames. With 73 points already in the bank, Gaudreau leads the team in points. But an interesting development took place in his last game. Against Colorado Wednesday night, Gaudreau registered a whopping 12 penalty minutes; doubling his season total. For somebody that rarely takes a penalty, that’s quite the shocker. And it merits watching moving forward.
RANGERS: RYAN SPOONER. The passing maestro has five assists in his first two games as a Blueshirt and has fit in seamlessly. The natural center has found himself on the wing, while playing alongside Kevin Hayes and Jesper Fast. And his linemates have helped him to quickly adapt to the Rangers offensive system.
It’s been a while since this could be said, but Head Coach Alain Vigneault is loath to make a lineup change after a win. Therefore, expect the same lineup against Calgary that just beat Vancouver.
And for those wondering, with a back-to-back this weekend, Henrik Lundqvist draws the start against the Flames while Alexandar Georgiev will start against Edmonton.
WHERE TO WATCH
The game will be broadcast on MSG 2 at 9 pm ET. For in-game coverage check out our Twitter account @NYRBlueBulletin.
With the Trade Deadline behind them, the Rangers can focus on just playing hockey.
While it is almost certainly too late for a few wins to make a difference in the standings, winning does breed good habits. And that’s something the Blueshirts should focus on the rest of the way.