After another disappointing defeat, the Blueshirts find themselves with a record of 3-2-1. The schedule only gets tougher as the defending Stanley Cup Champions visit Madison Square Garden (8:00 P.M. ET, ESPN).

RangersNHL RankingsAvalanche
14thNHL Standing Rank15th

Previous Games

Prior to the last two games, the Blueshirts were 3-1-0. Since then, the Blueshirts played an alarming third period against the then winless San Jose Sharks. Ultimately, the Sharks would get their first win in overtime in a game the Rangers deserved nothing from.

               “I have no idea where that [third period] came from,” said head coach Gerard Gallant following the defeat to San Jose. “I have no idea what went wrong. It was just a total collapse. It was embarrassing, actually.”

They followed that performance up with a shocking 5-1 defeat to the Columbus Blue Jackets that were without Patrik Laine.

“We were far from good enough. We were slow…,” Gallant said. “I thought we were a step behind all night from a team that played back-to-back games.”


Getting back to winning ways won’t be easy as the defending Stanley Cup Champions visit New York. The Avalanche defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games as they hoisted the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2001.

Artemi Panarin has been on fire to start the season. Panarin has points in each of the team’s six games. The “Breadman” also has had a lot of individual success against the Avalanche in his career including at least one point against the Avalanche 14 times in 17 games. The Blueshirts will be relying on Panarin as the team has just three goals in the past six periods plus overtime.

Filip Chytil won’t be in the lineup as he is currently suffering from an upper-body injury and is out for a minimum of one week. Barclay Goodrow will center the third-line in his absence. Zac Jones is a potential candidate to be a healthy scratch in favor of Libor Hajek.

Colorado defeated New York in both meetings last season. Adam Huska and Alex Georgiev each made a start against the Avalanche last season. Huska is currently in the KHL while Georgiev was traded to the Avalanche. This time, the Avalanche will see the reigning Vezina Trophy winner in Igor Shesterkin for just the second time. Shesterkin made his NHL debut against the Avalanche in a 6-3 victory.


Shesterkin will be facing off against his former teammate for the first time as Georgiev is expected to be in goal against his former team. Georgiev signed with the Rangers as an undrafted free agent and worked his way into a time share with Henrik Lundqvist. Georgiev would spend his tenure as a Rangers either in a timeshare or as the backup. With wanting a chance to prove himself, the Bulgarian born netminder asked for a trade and was ultimately granted it this past offseason. The Blueshirts also couldn’t afford Georgiev’s salary and had no choice but to make a move.

Also making his return to New York is Dryden Hunt. Hunt was dropped by the Blueshirts last week on waivers and he was claimed by Colorado to help fill a void.

Colorado faced many tough decisions in the offseason as the Salary Cap were ultimately forced to move on from some key players that helped win them the Stanley Cup. Darcy Kuemper walked as a free agent and is now the starting goaltender for the Washington Capitals. Andre Burakovsky also walked as a free agent and is now a member of the Seattle Kraken. But perhaps the biggest loss for the Avalanche was Nazem Kadri who became a member of the Calgary Flames. Kadri got a big pay raise and was an essential part for Colorado. Often manning the second line center, Kadri did just about everything for the Avalanche including scoring, defending and special teams. Colorado also lost depth guys including Nico Sturm and Nicolas Aube-Kubel.

To make matters worse, captain Gabriel Landeskog is currently in the middle of being on the shelf for 12 weeks following knee surgery. Landeskog has been a key player in Colorado’s top-six. Landeskog not being in the lineup will be the third player the Avalanche had in their top-nine in last season’s postseason run that won’t be in the lineup.

               To make up for some of the lost production, Colorado is relying on Evan Rodrigues and Alex Newhook. Both of which play in the Avalanche’s middle-six who have struggled to score besides Valeri Nichushkin. If the Rangers can shut down the Avalanche’s top line and limit some scoring chances from the reigning Norris Trophy winner Cale Makar, the Blueshirts will give themselves an incredibly good chance of not only winning the game, but making a statement victory. Of course, that is easier said then done.

Key to the Game

The key to the game for the Rangers is staying out of the penalty box. Colorado is currently operating as the best power-play in the league at over 50% (9 for 17). New York can’t be taking any unnecesary penalties against the Avalanche. Colorado has just 11 even strength goals through six games.

Bet of the Night

For those who like to bet player props, a good bet would be to target the Rangers power-play. The Blueshirts have a very lethal power-play and that first unit often stays on the ice for the majority of it. Colorado has allowed at least one power-play goal in all six games they’ve played this season. Targeting a Zibanejad or Kreider power-play goal or an Adam Fox power-play assist would seem like a good bet to have at plus odds

Projected Lineup










Leave a Reply