The Blueshirts return home to New York to take on the young Anaheim Ducks who have a couple familiar faces (7:00 P.M. ET, MSG).

RangersNHL RankingsDucks
12thNHL Standing Rank16th

New York Rangers Bingo

               This season, I decided to put together a bingo card based on the New York Rangers season. The only rule was that each square was not allowed to be something that was “given” or “guaranteed” to happen. Each square had to be something that is challenging to accomplish. The card was completed at the start of the season. Below is the bingo card:

Fox goes coast to coastNew York Rangers Goalie GoalKreider to score 50 goals againRangers to finish with a top three penalty killRangers to have two eight goal games
Ryan Reaves to score five goalsBarclay Goodrow to score 20 goalsPanarin to record 100 pointsRangers to have four periods with four goalsLafreniere to record 55 points
Rangers to score one goal outside the blue line (not empty net)Adam Fox to record 90 pointsFree SpaceZibanejad four goal gameRangers to be a top eight face off team
Halak to have a .920 save percentageRangers to have one Michigan goalLafreniere to record a Gordie Howe hat trickVincent Trocheck to have a career year in pointsTen ex Rangers (min 50 games) to score against us  
Trouba to be in “3 controversial hits”Gerard Gallant to be penalized one timeFilip Chytil to go in between his legs and scoreRangers to have three NHL debuts  Kakko to record a hat trick

               I believe the toughest squares to accomplish will be the Michigan goal, a goal from outside the blueline (not counting an empty net goal), a goal from a New York Rangers netminder, and the Blueshirts to have four NHL debuts. The reason I went for the Michigan goal is because I remember Chris Kreider attempting it twice last season and coming very close. While it is extremely unlikely to happen, I would love to be able to check that off and to have “called it.” Igor Shesterkin has come close to scoring in an NHL game multiple times. This is one that had to be on the card but is admittedly very tough. It is something every New York Rangers fan would like to see. Lastly, three NHL debuts will be extremely tough to check off. Coming into the season, I had figured Zac Jones would be an easy one but realized he had actually played a few games for the Blueshirts after signing a contract out of college. Paired that with a couple of potential injuries and other players making the team which would make this possible. Now looking back on it – this may be the toughest one to check off.

               I think the best chance I have at getting a bingo is the far-right column. Two eight goal games are very doable. In fact, the Blueshirts did that in the shortened season two seasons ago just against the Flyers. Alexis Lafreniere is off to a good start with two assists in three games. He has looked very good on the right side of Artemi Panarin and Vincent Trocheck. The Blueshirts to be a top eight faceoff team (or top 25%) is far from a guarantee. Trocheck is very reliable on faceoffs and will improve the Rangers greatly. I also believe that Mika Zibanejad will have a better season in the faceoff dot. Ten ex-Rangers to score against us seems like the easiest one to accomplish. This seems to happen quite often and has already happened once this year. Mats Zuccarello became the first former Blueshirts with a minimum of 50 games to score against his old team. On Monday, Ryan Strome and Kevin Shattenkirk can potentially add to the list. Lastly, a Kakko hat trick will be a tricky one to tick off but playing on the top line will give him some opportunities throughout the season.

               What do you think is the easiest way for me to achieve bingo?

Rangers vs Ducks

               On Monday, the Blueshirts will return home to take on the Anaheim Ducks. After coming off a defeat in Winnipeg, New York will look to bounce back against a Pacific Division team. Sammy Blais has yet to make his season debut, but he has a chance of making it against the Ducks. Blais suffered a minor injury at the end of preseason and was labeled as day-to-day. The right winger skated on a line with Filip Chytil and Jimmy Vesey at practice on Sunday.  Blais made the trip to Minnesota and Winnipeg, but ultimately didn’t play. Vitaly Kravtsov did not make the trip and was in a non-contact jersey at Sunday’s practice and could be a little further away than Blais. Nevertheless, when Kravtsov does return, it will be worth seeing whether head coach Gerard Gallant will give him his opening night spot back on the second line. Ryan Carpenter was injured against the Jets and it appears he won’t be in the lineup on Monday. Barclay Goodrow would center the line in his absence.

               Libor Hajek played in Winnipeg in place of Zac Jones. Gallant said it was nothing that Jones did wrong but that he didn’t want Hajek sitting as long as he did in the previous season. Expect Jones to return to the lineup against the Ducks.

               With a few days of rest, Igor Shesterkin will be back in goal for New York. Shesterkin has allowed just four goals in two starts this season. Shesterkin has been victorious in both starts this season.

               Anaheim will enter the game with a few familiar faces. The revenge game narrative will be in full effect as Strome will return to Madison Square Garden to take on his former team. Strome had been a member of the Rangers since they had acquired him during the 2018-2019 season. The Canadian Native became a key contributor for the Blueshirts and wanted a long-term contract. Ultimately, the Rangers didn’t want to give Strome a long-term deal despite putting up very good numbers with Artemi Panarin. In the end, the Blueshirts gave a seven-year contract to Trocheck. The 29-year-old will be playing with a chip on his shoulder and hoping to show Rangers management that he was worth the five-year contract worth 25 million dollars that Anaheim gave him.

“We put a lot of work into, not only on the ice but off the ice and making it a good environment and a good culture and a good dressing room dynamic,” Strome told the media. “And I think to see that come to fruition last year, we feel a little bit short, but to see the hard work pay off a little bit and kinda take that next step was a really good feeling. That’s probably the thing I’ll remember most.”

Strome currently skates on the top line with Troy Terry and the third overall pick in the 2021 draft, Mason McTavish. The trio has nine points in two games. Expect a video tribute during the first commercial break.

               Also making his return to New York is Frank Vatrano. Vatrano was acquired for a draft pick prior to the trade deadline, Vatrano gave the Rangers some depth goal scoring and provided the Rangers with speed in the lineup. The former Panther became a victim of the salary cap and he signed a contract in Anaheim for three years worth 3.65 million dollars per year. Vatrano skates on a line with the shifty Trevor Zegras. Zegras is a very creative player who can make something out of nothing. Keeping him off the puck in the Rangers zone should be of high priority.

               The biggest free agent acquisition by Anaheim was getting the signature of John Klingberg. Klingberg signed a one-year “prove it” deal with the Ducks in the offseason. Klingberg is an offensive defenseman who quarterbacks the top power-play unit. The 30-year-old has 376 points in 554 career games.

               John Gibson is expected to get the nod for the Ducks. The American netminder has allowed nine goals in two games this season.

Projected Starting Lineup










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