Wow, that is now back to back wins for the Rangers, first time in over a month they have done that, and the last time the Rangers won back to back the first win started with Calgary, expect this time the Rangers won their second game vs Calgary.
What a game it was, not a fantastic win by any means, when you allow 50 plus shots in the last two games, then yeah that is definitely an area of concern. But I mean, holy hell where did this performance come from out of Henrik Lundqvist, making 50 saves of the 51 shots Friday night, becoming the first goalie in NHL history(since shots were tracked in 1955) to make 50 plus saves and pick up wins in both games.
Rangers hot commodities…
Another story coming out of New York is the Rangers F Kevin Hayes, the 25-year-old forward is really stepping into a scoring role here, as the Rangers have struggled and a few key forward pieces have departed. Hayes has 7 goals and 5 assists in the last month of play and has scored four times in the last five games. Also not to toot the Rangers Hayes here but, he did set a career high in goals(18) scoring the first goal of the game Friday night. Hayes has seemed to like playing alongside the newly acquired forward, Ryan Spooner. Who if we may add has been in full stride since coming to New York, adding 1 goal and 7 assists over his last three games.
The Rangers win Friday night was by no means a nice win, nor a win they can walk away with confidence, but it is a step in the right direction. They have defensive issues to handle, without a doubt. The d-core is young now and they have 5/7 defenseman playing minutes they have never seen. Neal Pionk, started in Hartford this season playing AHL minutes and has been with the Rangers for 11 games and now leads the team with 21:18 ice time. Not easy for a 22-year-old rookie defenseman.
Oilers McDavid and company…
The only concern here is they now head to Edmonton for a back to back, with Lundqvist probably sitting due to facing 106 shots over three days, the Rangers will look to Alexander Georgiev to hold down the fort. Coming into this game the Oilers have three players that have been producing at efficient rates, Connor McDavid(of course) has totaled, 14 goals in his last 15 games, Leon Drastali, with 9 goals and 9 assists in the last month of play, Ryan Strome with 5 goals and 6 assists in the last month of play and 3 goals and 3 assists in the last week.
The Oilers are a team, where themselves have struggled all season, got off to an extremely slow start, saw some major goaltending issues with Cam Talbot playing poorly and they could not seem to keep a healthy top four on the back end. The Oilers are another team similar to the Rangers who have failed to meet expectations but are just playing spoiler hockey up to this point.
More on Edmonton’s playoff hopes…
The Oilers are well of ways out of a playoff spot, and coming into this game they are 4-6-0 in their last ten coming in on a two-game losing streak, dropping a tough one to Nashville Thursday night. The advantage for Edmonton here is that they have fresh legs, coming into this game on a day of rest, where the Rangers are going back to back in their Western Canada road trip. The only downside of Edmonton missing the playoffs this season is that Cam Talbot looks pretty dumb, after coming out to the media after the All-Star break and saying they will make the playoffs, yikes.
The Oilers on the season are 27-33-4 with 58 points, currently for anyone who cares and or is wondering, yes they are 18 points out of a playoff spot with 18 games to be played, nearly impossible for them to make a run.
The Rangers on the season are 29-30-6 with 64 points, and as scary as it sounds, and or as unbelievable as it sounds, that is the more appropriate term the Rangers are still only, 5 points out of a playoff spot with 17 games to be played(16 after tonight). A little less difficult than the Oilers, but still a tough task. The Rangers though in their last ten are 3-6-1 on a two-game winning streak. They last played Edmonton at the Garden, in which they won 4-2, back on November 11, 2017.