Bantering Points: 1/7/17

News and notes for Saturday, January 7th, 2017

For the first time in three nights, the Rangers will take the ice tonight as they take on another divisional rival. In the first game of the post-Pavel Buchnevich era, New York will head into Nationwide Arena to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets. Despite losing their last game, Columbus is still the hottest team in the NHL, having won 16 of their last 17 contests coming into action tonight. Here are today's news and links:

Rangers News:

  • Brett Cyrgalis discusses an encouraging trait in this year's edition of the Rangers, and how it helps the fans quickly forget ugly losses (NY Post)
  • Justin Tasch hears that Rick Nash is on schedule to return after New York's bye week, and mentions Pavel Buchnevich's demotion to the Hartford Wolfpack (NY Daily News)
  • Colin Stephenson explains how tonight's matchup has lost some of it's luster now that the Blue Jackets win streak has been snapped (Newsday)
  • Sean Hartnett thinks that Brady Skjei has started to prove himself as a dependable option on the Rangers' blue line (CBS)
  • Game Preview: In one of the most important game's of either team's season, the Rangers and Blue Jackets are set to clash in Columbus (CBS)
  • Tom Urtz Jr. points to Chris Kreider as proof that hockey teams need to show patience when developing power forwards (Blueshirt Bulletin)
  • Brandon Cohen attempts to figure out the best line combos for New York when the team returns to full health (Blue Line Station)
  • John Williams believes that the Rangers would be best served dangling Jimmy Vesey as trade bait to acquire a defenseman (Blue Line Station)
  • David Bruce compares the team's defensive situation to those of their conference rivals (Blue Line Station)
  • Justin Rutherford offers his thoughts on New York now that they have turned the calendar to 2017 (Blue Seat Blogs)
  • Christian Nehls examines how Nick Holden, Chris Kreider, and other Rangers have performed relative to their pre-season expectations through one half of the season (Blue Seat Blogs)
  • Post-Practice Interviews: Alain Vigneault, (5:05) Chris Kreider, (0:58) Ryan McDonagh, (0:57) Jimmy Vesey, (1:35) Henrik Lundqvist, (1:35) and Rick Nash (1:47)
  • He was a former 2nd Round Pick out of the Western Hockey League, was hyped up as a power forward before busting out at the NHL level, and only appeared in six games as a Ranger. Yesterday's player in the picture was.....Dane Byers (Wikipedia)/

Around the NHL:

  • Sam McCaig breaks down the remaining candidates for the Calder Trophy at the halfway mark of the NHL season (Puck Daddy)
  • Some of the NHL's American players offered their reaction to Team USA's 5-4 shootout victory over Team Canada at the World Junior Championships (1:43 Video via TSN)
  • Rory Boylen reports that despite the NHL's apprehension to participating in the 2018 Olympics, the league is actively seeking to schedule pre-season games in China (Sportsnet)
  • Matt Larkin lists the top 10 unbeatable team streaks in league history (The Hockey News)/

Shameless Self-Promotion

  • As is tradition, I've set up BSB's NFL Playoffs Bracket Challenge for the second year in a row (Blueshirt Banter Fanpost)/