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NYR seek 8th straight W; Nash trick; Bold predictions; MSG fun-making, WJC

Bantering Points for Friday, December 26, 2014.

Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

And we're back.

It's too bad the Northeast has been so warm lately. I was really looking forward to getting out for some pond hockey during my visit to Connecticut for the holidays. My favorite childhood (and adulthood) holiday memories are getting together with friends and family for a shinny tournament on the pond. But alas, looks like the ice is too thin. Actually, it's non-existent. Global warming be damned.

Ah well. I hope everyone got everything they wanted for Christmas, and more! I also hope Jolly Old St. Louis and co. give us a belated holiday gift tomorrow night. When the New York Rangers face the New Jersey Devils at MSG they will be seeking their first 8 game winning streak in 40 years. Joy to the World!

With their win over the Caps, the Rangers moved to #13 in Corey Masisak's Super 16 power ranking. There is a lot of parity in the NHL. [NHL]

Lee Stempniak has rejoined the team after his bout with the mumps. [NY Post]

Rick Nash actually had a hat trick against the Caps. He is second in the NHL in goals, only trailing Tyler Seguin. [Blueshirt Banter]  [Newsday]  [NY Post]  [NY Times]  [NHL]

Nash is keeping pace in the Richard race with his sustained high percentage shooting. He is second in the NHL in goals, only trailing Tyler Seguin. [The Hockey News]

Here is an interesting read on Martin St. Louis. Putting aside the voyeuristic angle of a 39 year old man dealing with the loss of his mother around Christmas, which I really don't care for, it gives some insight on Marty's thoughts on leadership and what is next, if anything, for the future Hall of Famer.  [NY Post]

Some writers think this team might be a Stanley Cup contender, like last year. I don't have a crystal ball either way. They're playing good hockey right now and the East is weak. But, as highlighted earlier, there is far too much parity to reliably make bold predictions. These articles gives some review to the season, wild predictions and proclamations about this team and its personnel aside.  [NY Post]  [CBS NY]

Has MSG gone too far with the music and lights and bells and whistles? Hockey games, and its fans, don't really need to be dressed up with all of the extra junk to keep the fans awake and engaged.  [New York Observer]

The World Junior Championships begin today and NHL Network is carrying live coverage of the action. Brandon Halverson and the United States play Finland at 3:00pm. Anthony Duclair and Canada square off against Slovakia at 8:00pm. [NHL]

The Hockey News has a preview of Team USA here.

Enjoy your leftover holiday cookies.