Game Thirty-Eight, the New York Rangers at the San Jose Sharks
Tonight the Rangers will be looking to pick up their fifth straight win and go undefeated in their tour of California when they play the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks may have been the California team that seemed the least scary on paper prior to this road trip, but they are still a quality hockey team with all kinds of dangerous players in their lineup. The Sharks have a terrifying power play which should encourage the Rangers to stay disciplined because right now it feels like the Blueshirts can beat just about anyone at evens with the way they've been playing.If the Rangers play the way they played against the Ducks and the Kings, they should be headed back to New York with another two points. However, tonight is the Rangers' third game in four nights. It will be interesting to see if fatigue is a factor for the Rangers against a Sharks team with a lot of big bodies.
There are going to be some really interesting matchups to keep an eye on tonight. Namely, what are the Sharks going to do to try and contain Rick Nash? I honestly can't believe just how well Nash has been playing this season. It's not just about the goals and scoring chances. Nash has been creating offense for others, killing penalties, drawing penalties, and doing everything he can do to help the Rangers win hockey games. If you told me this offseason that the Rangers' most valuable player almost halfway through the season was Rick Nash and not Henrik Lundqvist, I would have laughed at you. He's been special. The Sharks have some quality blueliners that will do everything they can to try and limit Nash's impact on the game tonight.
The New York Rangers' January Schedule
1/3 Sabres at Rangers, 7:00(win.) 1/7 Rangers at Ducks, 10:30(win.) 1/8 Rangers at Kings, 10:30(win.)
1/10 Rangers at Sharks, 10:00
1/13 Islanders at Rangers, 7:00
1/15 Rangers at Bruins, 7:00
1/16 Rangers at Blue Jackets, 7:00
1/18 Rangers at Penguins, 12:30
1/20 Senators at Rangers, 7:00
1/27 Rangers at Islanders, 7:00
1/29 Canadiens at Rangers, 7:00
1/31 Hurricanes at Rangers, 7:00
Mike's Player to Watch: Dan Boyle
Hey! Dan Boyle is going to be playing against the Sharks for the first time since signing with the Rangers as a UFA during this offseason. Boyle had a nightmarish start to the 2014-15 campaign for the Rangers. He broke his hand in his first game as a Blueshirt and simply couldn't get on the scoresheet after he returned form his injury. However, we've seen some pretty solid hockey from Boyle as of late. He picked up a big power play goal against the Kings on Thursday night and has been a big part of the Rangers' man advantage finally clicking. I am sure this will be an emotional game for the veteran blueliner. Hopefully he helps his new team come away with two big points before the Rangers set their sights on playing the Islanders at MSG on the 13th.
Hope you enjoy tonight's game! LGR!