Game Seventy-Six, the New York Rangers at the Winnipeg Jets
Season Series: 1-0-0, Jets
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The New York Rangers had a terrible weekend where they dropped two straight games against the Boston Bruins, followed by a loss to the Washington Capitals on home ice. Turnovers were the main reason for their struggles against both teams, and it will need to be better tonight against the Winnipeg Jets. Henrik Lundqvist is scheduled to start in goal tonight, and will be his second game back after getting peppered in Boston three days ago.
Matt Hunwick will also be returning to the lineup tonight, after he sat out Sunday afternoon's game with an undisclosed upper-body injury. In addition, Martin St. Louis is targeting Thursday's game against the Minnesota Wild as his return date, which should provide a much needed boost on offense. Every game in the NHL is always a tough one, and tonight is yet another team on the bubble looking to fight their way into the playoffs.
It's certainly frustrating, but it's definitely not time to panic, mainly because these are self inflicted mistakes that can be corrected. Strong play in the defensive zone has always been a sticking point for the Rangers, and they'll need to get back to that if they plan on turning this ship around. The offense will most certainly come around again, but the Rangers need to shift their focus to limiting the costly turnovers, and keeping pucks out of their net.
The New York Rangers' March Schedule
3/2, Predators at Rangers, 7:00(win.) 3/4, Rangers at Red Wings, 8:00(overtime loss.) 3/8, Rangers at Blackhawks, 7:30(win.) 3/10, Rangers at Islanders, 7:00(win!!!) 3/11 Rangers at Capitals, 8:00(win) 3/14, Rangers at Sabres, 7:00(win) 3/15, Panthers at Rangers, 5:00(win) 3/18, Blackhawks at Rangers, 8:00(loss) 3/21, Rangers at Hurricanes, 7:00(win? Kinda.) 3/22, Ducks at Rangers, 7:30(the winniest of wins) 3/24, Kings at Rangers, 7:00(loss) 3/26, Rangers at Senators, 7:00(win) 3/28, Rangers at Bruins, 1:00(loss) 3/29, Capitals at Rangers, 3:00(loss)
3/31, Rangers at Jets, 8:00
Bryan's Player to Watch: Kevin Hayes
Despite the loss, one of the bright spots on Sunday afternoon was the outstanding play of Kevin Hayes. He was knocking on the door all afternoon, and eventually scored on a beautiful one handed move to tie the game up at 1-1. Hayes has been a pleasant surprise all season long, and as they games continue to get bigger, he seems to elevate his play even further.
Enjoy the game!