Move over Football Sunday, you have company.
With a matinee against the Canucks on tap during this holiday weekend, the Rangers are looking to continue their recent string of strong play.
A thrilling overtime win against Detroit Friday night stretched the Blueshirts’ win-streak to three. And in a larger sample size, they’ve won nine of 11 and 11 of 15.
Prior to their game in Carolina, many analysts observed that the Rangers had six very attainable points in front of them. With wins against the Hurricanes and Red Wings they’ve secured four of six. But the last two might be the hardest to get.
Vancouver hasn’t been in the playoff picture since the 2014-15 season when they lost to Calgary in six-games during the opening round.
This year, with a new Head Coach — Travis Green — and some impressive young talent, the Canucks are in the thick of the race.
And before we forget about them, remember that the Sedin twins (Daniel and Henrik) are still around. And Daniel is barreling towards 1,000 career NHL points. Sitting on 998, there’s a chance he gets the magic number against the Rangers. When he does reach 1,000, he’ll join brother Henrik in the prestigious club.
DEEP ROOTED CONNECTIONS
Alain Vigneault was the Canucks Head Coach for seven seasons; (2006-07 – 2012-13). And he is the Canucks’ all-time leader in several categories: games coached (540), wins (313), points percentage (.632), playoff games coached (68) and playoff wins (33).
Michael Grabner was drafted by Vancouver in the first-round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He ended up playing just 20 games with the Canucks, (2009-10).
Michael Del Zotto spent parts of five seasons with the Blueshirts (2009-10 – 2013-14).
Derek Dorsett spent parts of two seasons with the Rangers (2012-13 and 2013-14) and during his time in New York, he helped the Blueshirts advance to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.
These two teams met in the 1994 Stanley Cup Final, where New York reigned victorious in seven-games. It is the Blueshirts’ only Stanley Cup championship since 1940.
Chris Kreider: Two-assists away from 100 career helpers. Three-goals away from 100 career markers. And five-points shy of 200 in his NHL career.
Nick Holden: Two-points away from his 100th career NHL point.
PLAYER TO WATCH
CANUCKS: BROCK BOESER. This 20-year old right-winger is having a heck of a rookie campaign. With 22-points (11G, 11A) in 20 games, Boeser has to be considered a leading candidate for the Calder Trophy. You want more? How about the fact that he has seven points in his last five games (6G).
RANGERS: HENRIK LUNDQVIST. The King has started 11 consecutive games — this will be his 12th. During this stretch, Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer eight times. And in his last seven starts against the Canucks — going back to Jan. 13, 2011 — Lundqvist is 6-1-0, with a 1.14 GAA and .963 SV%. Oh, and he has two shutouts to boot.
Ryan McDonagh will miss his third straight contest with a mild abdominal strain. Therefore, the defense pairings will remain the same.
David Desharnais is tagging in Boo Nieves, who was injured during the first period of the game against Detroit and did not return.
The rest of the lineup should remain the same, and Lundqvist will be in net.
WHERE TO WATCH
The game will be broadcast on MSG Network at 2pm ET. For in-game coverage check out our Twitter account @NYRBlueBulletin.
Thanks to a seven-game home winning-streak the Rangers are in the midst of their annual November surge.
Vancouver has improved from a year ago. With the Blueshirts clicking, the Boys in Blue can beat any team in the league.