clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

BSB Preview: The winning streak needs to start tonight

A big stretch on the road will tell us a lot about this team

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Detroit Red Wings v New York Rangers Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The good news is that the New York Rangers have promising underlying numbers — so we don’t need to be slamming the panic button. The bad news is they have two regulation wins in their last 10 games and are 3-4-3 in that stretch. The Blueshirts are 6-5-3 — that’s more losses than wins and that’s not good — and are now fifth in the Metropolitan Division.

Tonight, the Rangers begin a stretch of games wherein they play teams they really should be able to defeat. No offense to the Detroit Red Wings, but they are not the team that their 7-3-3 record suggests they are. With that said, they beat the Rangers in overtime 3-2 on Nov. 6 and have a lot of fun, young exciting players. None of that changes the inescapable truth that the Rangers need to start winning hockey games and that needs to start with this stretch of games where they will be on the road for six of the next seven games, including away games against the Seattle Kraken and all three California teams.

The Rangers have a 55.35 xGF% — which is 6th best in the league. The power play is north of 20%, Igor Shesterkin has a .910 Sv%, and Mika Zibanejad, Artemiy Panarin, Chris Kreider, Adam Fox, and Vincent Trocheck are all in the double-digits in points. That all sounds super good and/or promising right?

This team is finding ways to lose games. Even with the promising underlying numbers, the Rangers have a -6 goal differential at 5v5. It doesn’t help that the Rangers can’t seem to win with Jaroslav Halak in net and it certainly doesn’t help that Jacob Trouba is playing hurt and Ryan Lindgren’s been out but the only thing that really matters is Ws right now.

New York can ill-afford to let too many games “they were supposed to win” slip through their fingers in this division. The points you win or lose out on now count just as much as those at the end of the season when we see which teams make the cut to be in the playoffs and which teams are stepping into tough matchups in the first round.

Per Mollie Walker of the New York Post, Lindgren is back in the lineup and it’s Igor in net. The winning streak — or at least a big run that helps erase this underwhelming stretch — needs to start tonight in Detroit. Again, it’s not time to panic, but there are some who are making sure that big, red button is at least in their peripheral vision.

Tonight’s game starts at 7:00 p.m. After this meeting, the Red Wings and Rangers will meet again on Feb. 23 in Detroit for the third and final game of the season series.

Data courtesy of