Game Thirty-Three, the New Jersey Devils at the New York Rangers
Devils vs Rangers coverage | NYR roster | In Lou We Trust
After a three day break from hockey for the entire league, the Rangers are returning to the Garden ice tonight looking for their eighth straight victory against one of their most hated rivals. Tonight the Rangers will be going toe-to-toe with Jaromir Jagr and the New Jersey Devils who have had plenty of struggles this season and were currently in the headlines for firing their head coach Pete DeBoer. The Devils are ahead of only the Carolina Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division and are 2-5-3 in their last ten games.
The Devils are the third worst scoring team in the league and their veteran lineup has had some serious issues staying healthy. In short, there are a lot of things wrong with the Devils right now, and the Rangers should make sure to expose those many problems tonight on the Garden ice on the way to their eighth consecutive win. Of course, this isn't just any team that stands in the way between the Rangers and keeping their streak alive- it's New Jersey. I expect that the Devils players will be an emotional bunch after the firing of DeBoer, and they will be looking to make a statement to the new coaching staff about their value to the club. This game should prove to be worth the wait because of all the story lines and intensity that always come with Rangers vs. Devils match-ups. Right now these two teams are in a very different place, but that doesn't mean a damn thing once that puck drops.
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(win) 12/16 Rangers at Calgary, 9:00(win) 12/20 Rangers at Carolina, 7:00(win) 12/21 Carolina at Rangers, 7:00(win) 12/23 Capitals at Rangers, 7:00(win)
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: Mats Zuccarello
Zuke wasn't scoring early in the season but he was still making things happen. Most of us knew that the numbers would come, it was simply a matter of things balancing out and Zuccarello getting ice time with the right players. Apparently the "right players" for Zuke are Derick Brassard and the unstoppable Rick Nash. Over the last stretch of games Mats Zuccarello has been scoring points, making things happen in all three zones, and has been putting duct tape over his doubter's mouths with his play. Watch for Zuke to play a feisty, energetic game tonight against the Devils. He always seems to enjoy these rivalry games and with the league's best winning streak on the line the Rangers are going to need continued contributions throughout their top nine forwards.
Have a great weekend Banterers, I hope that you enjoyed wonderful winter holidays with your friends and family. Now, let's go get eight! Say eight! SAY EIGHT!
<iframe width="480" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/T55MZg38dYA?rel=0&showinfo=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>