Some thoughts before the Rangers take on the Capitals Sunday night.
- Why don't we start with the whole Chris Kreider thing. This is a situation that really couldn't be avoided by the Rangers, but it's still unfortunate for Kreider. The Rangers sent Kreider down Friday so he can get more seasoning with the Connecticut Whale, only to call him back up Sunday because Rick Nash is sick and might not be able to play against the Capitals. That can sometimes screw with a player's head, but again, the Rangers didn't really have a choice here.
- Speaking of Nash, if he actually is sick we're going to get a good look at what this team will look like without him. Nash has been one of the Rangers best player in most of their games this year. Not having him would be a major blow to the offense.
- And it's not just the offense either. Nash is great in all three zones. He does so many little things away from the puck it's hard to even think of them all. If he can't go that might play a factor in this as well.
- So apparently the Rangers aren't interested in Ryan O'Reilly. Then they were. I guess it depends on who you ask. Remember, too, the Rangers can negotiate an offer sheet with him, but that rout seems unlikely. Honestly, I'm not convinced he's worth Derek Stepan let alone Stepan and more. His contract demands are outrageous and if you think the Colorado Avalanche are taking a hard line imagine what Glen Sather will do. The Avalanche have all the leverage. Mabe if O'Reilly was coming off three 50-point seasons, but he's not.
- The Rangers are 3-0-1 in their last four games. A win against the Washington Capitals tonight would give them an 8-5-1 record, and help them keep putting distance behind that hole they dug in the early goings of this season. It would also be another big bump for the Rangers' confidence.
- Brad Richards was called out by John Tortorella on Thursday. He got benched in the third, and Tortorella talked about how he hasn't been himself. This is a bounce back game for him for sure.
- At some point the power play needs to get going. It's become a major problem for the Rangers so far this season. It will remain a major problem for them if it continues. No better time to get started than right now.