Battle for the Hudson River: New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils
The Rangers and Devils lock horns, get it, once again tonight in Newark with both teams in playoff spots.
With the help of a 3 game winning streak, the Rangers find themselves just two points behind both the Blue Jackets and the New Jersey Devils in the standings and a win tonight can pole vault the Rangers into one of those three precious spots atop the Metropolitan division. The Devils have been quite the surprise this season being led by the superb play of rookies Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt, and Will Butcher. New Jersey also made a big move recently trading long time Haunter of Rangers Fans Nightmares Adam Henrique to the Anaheim Ducks for offensive defenseman and perennial #FutureRanger Sami Vatanen.
The Rangers this year have been...well...the Rangers of the last couple of years:
Since Nov 1, #NYR are 15-5-1. Via @CorsicaHockey in that time frame, they rank (5v5 unadjusted):— Adam Gavriel (@nerdhockeyAG) December 20, 2017
31st in CF%
21st in xGF%
6th in GF%
1st in xFSh%
23rd in xFSv%
4th in GSAE#AVHockey #jwb #wemaywinbutimaydie
Thankfully, Henrik Lundqvist has been up to the task and the Rangers offense has been able to outscore the defensive issues. The Rangers offense also received a huge bump this week with the return of Mika Zibanejad from a concussion and the reuniting of KZB.
Tonight's matchup carries a surprising amount of weight in the standings and should be a real fun match up.