Game Twenty-Eight the New York Rangers at the Edmonton Oilers
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So, let me get this straight. We go four days without any Rangers hockey and now we have back-to-back late night games on the weekend? Absolutely bizarre, but so long as the Rangers keep winning, I won't be complaining.
Tonight the Rangers are looking for their third win in a row against the worst team in the Western Conference. However, the Oilers have already gotten the best of the Rangers earlier this season on November 9th when former Ranger Benoit Pouliot helped his new team beat his old team 3-1 (the third goal was an empty netter). Tonight the Rangers are looking for a little bit of redemption against a team that you simply have to beat if you want to feel good about your hockey club.
If the Rangers come out flying and pressuring the net the way they did in the first and second period last night they could very will win this game in the first forty minutes, but if they let the Oilers hang around and miss on their opportunities they could find themselves just as embarrassed and frustrated as they were back on November 9th at the Garden. If the Rangers keep the Taylor Hall line contained and expose the countless holes in the Oiler's defense, they will find their fifth and sixth point in 3 games. This team has struggled with consistency all year. It's time for them to show they can start playing at an elevated level for more than a period or a game or two. It's time for them to string together some wins and make something happen here in December.
The New York Rangers' December Schedule
12/1 Tampa Bay at the Rangers, 7:00(loss) 12/6 Rangers at Detroit, 7:00(loss) 12/8 Penguins at Rangers, 7:00(win) 12/13 Rangers at Vancouver, 10:00(win)
12/14 Rangers at Edmonton, 9:30
12/16 Rangers at Calgary, 9:00
12/20 Rangers at Carolina, 7:00
12/21 Carolina at Rangers, 7:00
12/23 Capitals at Rangers, 7:00
12/27 Devils at Rangers, 7:00
12/29 Rangers at Dallas, 8:30
12/31 Rangers at Florida, 6:00
Mike's Player to Watch: Derek Stepan
With Brassard out of the lineup the Rangers' other centers are going to have to step up their game, and the guy that the Blueshirts are going to be depending on the most to pick up the slack is Derek Stepan. Before Brassard came down with the mumps he had 7 points in his last 5 games and had been centering the Rick Nash line and making things happen when he had the puck. Stepan will be asked to do more than he has done since he has returned to the lineup and the Rangers are going to be depending on him to move the puck, create some offense, and be sound in his defensive game. Will we see J.T. Miller get some ice time at center tonight? Will we see Hayes get more ice time with the hole in the middle in the Rangers' top six? We'll just have to wait and see.
Let's go Rangers! Enjoy the game and the thread
Hope that you guys had a great weekend and that you are keeping warm and safe this holiday season. Please be careful driving.