Tag: Kevin Hayes

New York Rangers David Quinn’s Report Card

The New York Rangers are coming off a rough three-game stretch, all three games coming on the road and all resulting in a lose. The Rangers most recent road trip does not do David Quinn much justice, therefore looking past these three games but still considering them to some extent. Here is my take on the Rangers new head coach report card up until this point.

The Rangers entered this season with very little, to no intention on making playoffs. I’m sure there was still that one fan named Antonio from Brooklyn, New York who grew up a die hard Ranger fan that still believed the Rangers had a chance of making the playoffs this season. Sorry, Antonio but the Rangers are not going to be a playoff team for a little while. Quinn came into the Rangers organization for a few reasons (1) to help develop young players, he did a great job with players at Boston University (Jack Eichel, Charlie McAvoy..) (2) The Rangers were heading into a new direction, a younger more patient, looking to the future direction. Which made Quinn perfect role for this job. (3) They needed a new face, some new ideas, a shake up from a coach who never coached professional hockey, someone who can come in and brought new philosophies, attitude and certainly a new voice to that locker room.

I am not sure many thought Quinn would 17-18-7 with 41 points and 6th in the Metropolitan division. The Rangers were regarded as a team destined to finish last in the division and near 28th to 31st in the NHL. For that reason alone Quinn has, in my eyes exceeded my expectations for the first four months of the season. I cannot speak for every Ranger fan, I am a little less biased and realistic than most Ranger fans therefore the Dancing Larry type Ranger fans probably will disagree with me. Either way looking at three main key takeaways from Quinn’s first four months and 42 games in.

(1) Youth development: B- 

Speaking for myself I’d have to give him a B- in this area. In the beginning of the year it was frustrating to see Filip Chytil on the fourth line for many games. Pavel Buchnevich scratched, not many young defenseman on the roster and still playing Brendan Smith. Vinni Lettieri still in the minors, a glimpse of Lias Andersson, a cup of coffee for Steven Forgarty, no sign of John Gilmour, Rob O’Gara, Ryan Lindgren yet. We have seen Neal Pionk be the Rangers number one defenseman which is due to Quinn trusting the young defenseman in every situation, no matter the game, time, etc. I say a B- because while he did a decent job with Chytil and Buch it was the right move at the time. Buchnevich has not been the player we all expected him to be, he was struggling early on and still is therefore he probably deserved less minutes. Also not playing Chytil a lot early on has helped him see the game a little better. As well O’Gara, Gilmour will and hopefully be up very soon… and unpopular opinion. Either Quinn was not playing Andersson correctly or Andersson really is going to be a bust. My opinion, Rangers wasted that first overall pick in 2017.

(2) Game Management: B

I do like the way Quinn manages the lines and game honestly. Although he does change the lines a decent amount throughout the game and mixes guys up a lot, I think he is still trying to see what works. Plus he does a good job of playing the hot hand, some nights guy are hot and some are not and he does a good job recognizing who is on and who is not. My only concern is his defensive line choices late in games, numerous times I have seen Adam McQuaid or Smith out there on the back end when the Rangers are up by one-goal.

(3) Style of play: B

The Rangers were known to be a pretty gritty, get in the ugly areas, throw pucks on net and hope for the best type of team. While in the d-zone the Rangers D were not responsible, and hoped Hank made the first and second save. I like how Quinn in a sense has made us a better transitional team, a little more responsible in the d-zone and a little hungrier in the offensive zone. He has done a great job trusting Neal Pionk, reviving Marc Staal, not a great job with Kevin Shattenkirk but that is on Shattenkirk as well. He has also done a great job giving Mika Zibanejad, Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes the free reign to do things and be creative in all areas of the ice. I like how Quinn allows the players to make mistakes, learn from their mistakes and not play such an old school game backed by an old school philosophy of “get pucks deep and chase”.

Overall: B

The Rangers will more than likely finish with a top-10 pick for the NHL 2019 draft which will really make or break Quinn’s time in New York. They will also probably be trading Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello in the coming weeks. Quinn has done in my opinion a good job, he was not given an easy job, a young team, a crazy hockey market, the big city and bright lights. Quinn has come in and done what he can with what he has. It will be interesting to see the roster moves they make later in the season after the All-Star break in terms of bringing up AHL players so they can see some more NHL time before next season.


A Look At The New York Rangers Upcoming Road Trip

The New York Rangers have touched down in Denver, Colorado to begin their three-game road trip. The Rangers are coming into this road trip having dropped three of their last ten in regulation but another four in overtime/shootout. The Rangers have won just three games in their last ten games and to make matters worse they are not a favorable road team. Posting a 6-10-2 record on the road, and of their last ten games four have come on the road, in which they have lost two and won two (Nashville, St. Louis). Despite a big win in Nashville the other week, the Rangers have not done a great job in terms of scoring. In their last ten they have averaged, 2.3 goals per game, while allowing 3.3 goals per game. Sure, Penguins scoring seven Wednesday night does not help the case but even so they still have allowed 2.89 goals per game.

The Rangers head to Colorado Friday night, a team that is struggling greatly, on a six-game skid, 2-5-3 in their last ten and not playing the Colorado hockey we saw earlier in the year. They then travel to Arizona Sunday for an afternoon game vs a team that is subpar at home (7-12-1 at the moment) and cap the trip with one of the better home teams and best team of the three in this trip, Vegas Tuesday night. Vegas has lost three games at home this season (at the moment 13-3-3) and is starting to become the team we saw go on a immaculate run last season.

The big takeaway for this Rangers team and this road trip is be better than last road trip which they lost 2 of 3 and two of those games lost were to the leagues worst. Point two, how this young team responds to a rather difficult task at hand. This is not bizarre to see a team travel for three-straight away games but they get rest and a day in between each game yet with this young line up we will see how they fair in the thick of the schedule.

I would honestly expect the Rangers to take 2 of 3 this trip, the Avalanche struggling a win Friday is possible, a win in Arizona is more than possible and a loss to Vegas is likely. But at the same time the Rangers could lose all three, get a struggling Colorado team that needs a win badly, an Arizona team that is no cake-walk and the best home team in the NHL in Vegas. It will be interesting, that is why as writers we just sit here, drink a beer, relax and let the players do the playing.

Players to watch…

Kevin Hayes, Hayes is coming off a 8-point streak that was snapped vs St. Louis December 31st but this season Hayes has been one of the Rangers overall best players. He has 10 goals, 23 assists in 39 games and has honestly been the most noticeable and all around best player for the Rangers this season.

Neal Pionk-Marc Staal combination, the Rangers number one d-pairing has been to the test this season and it has been very surprising to see Staal’s game elevated this season and Pionk rise to the occasion. Pionk has 5 goals and 14 assists on the season with a -2 plus/minus rating and 12 power play points While Staal has 3 goals and 7 assists (already surpassed his total of 8 pts from last year) with a +1 plus/minus and zero power play points.

Chris Kreider, the 20 goal scorer has been involved in every Rangers scoring play it seems this year. Kreider has finally started to use his speed and quick shot to his advantage this year and keeping his game a little simpler than he has in years past. It will be interesting to see how Kreider comes out this trip.

Dan Quinn, the Rangers new head coach and former college coach has taken this team above expectations thus far, posting a 17-15-7 (41 points) record, eight points behind the last wild card spot and not dead last in the division or conference. He has head-scratching moments when he constantly shifts lines, dresses Cody McLeod more often than not, plays Filip Chytil on the fourth line, etc. But overall he has done a good job but this road trip will be a nice test for the young head coach and we’ll see how he can rally the troops to play on the road for three-straight.

Rangers upcoming schedule after road trip before All-Star break: 

New York Islanders @ MSG

New York Islanders @ Coliseum

Columbus Blue Jackets @ Nation Wide Arena

Carolina Hurricanes @ MSG

Chicago Blackhawks @ MSG

Boston Bruins @ TD Garden



Fantasy Hockey players trending in the right direction

We are getting to that point in the season where players have played around 15+ games and if they are not producing a little worry, maybe sit them but then are some random players producing and playing well that are trending and could be worthy of a 1-2 week add, a rental player they say.


Nolan Patrick: It seems Patrick is finally getting in a rhythm of things, after missing a few games due to a minor injury. Patrick has recorded a point in his last 6 of 7 games, in the last 14 days Patrick has 3 goals and 4 assists. He is playing with Jakub Voracek and Oskar Lindblom (until James Van Reimsydk comes back). Patrick had a mediocre first year and seems to finding his stride in the NHL over the last two weeks. On the year Patrick has 5 goals and four assists.

Kevin Hayes: Hayes is on the “trade block” and it seems that is not bothering him though. Hayes has been a solid center this season for the Rangers he centering Vladislav Namestikov and Lias Andersson at the moment, some tough players to play with a rookie and a player still trying to make his way in New York. Hayes has one goal in 7 assists, only producing 1 goal in the Rangers first five games, Hayes has now 8 points in the last six games.

Travis Zajac: Despite the Devils struggling road trip, Zajac saw some success scoring three goals in their five road games. Zajac has been slated as a third line center, but in no time he’ll be a second line center. Zajac has now 6 goals and 5 assists on the year. The Devils next game are a home and away split (2 on the road 2 at home) vs three Metropolitan teams. I’d for sure keep an eye on Zajac.

Devin Shore: Playing too-six minutes is probably not what the Stars had in mind for Shore but he has been an effective top-six guy who also plays power-play two minutes. Looking at his role and his minutes Shore is a solid add just for that reason alone. But in the last two weeks Shore has scored 4 goals with two assists (in the last 7 games), he has been a bit inconsistent but I’d keep an eye on Devin Shore right now. He has 5 goals and 6 assists on the year.


Ben Hutton: Well, look at this offensive-defenseman, Hutton has tallied 3 goals in the last six games and is playing top-four minutes and the power play two. Hutton has 4 goals, 2 assists and 3 power play points on the year. The Canucks have four games this week so it would be smart to watch Hutton as the week goes on.

Jaccob Slavin: This guy has to be an add guy at this point he is top-two defenseman for the Hurricanes plays power play two and is an offensive defenseman that produces big time to be honest. He is soon to be a household name in no time, I have raved about this guy for now two years and this is the year he makes a mark on the league. In the last 7 games he has 2 goals and 1 assist, on the year he has 2 goals and 5 assists, watch Slavin this year.

Tony DeAngelo: A fly under the radar type of guy, the Rangers are not great on the back end, but DeAngelo is seeing a lot of minutes he is averaging 20 minutes a game and in the 7 games he has played this season DeAngelo has 2 goals and 5 assists, on a current three game point streak. A solid rental player.

Miro Heiskanen: With John Klingberg out for at least another three weeks, Heiskanen will be taking over top pair minutes, power play one and seeing more ice. The young defenseman has already seen 20+ minutes even with Klingberg in the lineup Heiskanen is a valuable player but for the next 3 weeks he is a must add guy. He has 2 goals and 5 assists on the year. 


Casey DeSmith: The Penguins have not played well over the last week and a half, and especially Matt Murray which brings in Casey DeSmith. Murray has been off his game to start this season, in seven starts Murray has allowed 3 or more goals in four of them he has a 3.87 GAA and .887 save percentage, poor to say the least. DeSmith in his 8 starts this season DeSmith has 2 or less goals in six of them. Besides his first two starts where he allowed 3 goals, DeSmith has recorded two shutouts. DeSmith is a must add player right now as the Penguins struggle. 

Darcy Kuemper: The Coyotes have been off to a great start this season (for the Yotes it is good) but anyways Antti Raanta is out currently and should be out for the next 2+ weeks, which in comes Kuemper. In the six games he has started he has allowed 1 or less goal in 3 of them and 4 of more in 3 of them. He has 3 wins, a 2.58 goals against and .921 save percentage. Coyotes play Detroit, Nashville, Boston, Vegas in their next four games a solid start for two of those four games.


Fantasy Hockey players destined for a breakout season…

Evander Kane: Since coming to San Jose Kane has been arguably at the top of his game, therefore with a recent contract extension and more time in San Jose we will only see the best to come from Evander Kane. We all know Kane for his off-ice antics and being a menace in the locker room but when he came to San Jose something clicked for him and it was evident Kane was a different player. Kane is a strong forward who can get in the dirty areas as well as score on the power play or off a straight shot. Last season the 17 games he spent with San Jose he wasted no time getting on the scoresheet, collecting 14 points in that time. Last season he totaled 29 goals an 25 assists. Getting on line one with Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton this is going to be an easy 30 plus goal and 60 point season for Kane.

Kevin Hayes: Hayes really started to pick up the slack towards the end of the year when the Rangers were done and out but still Hayes tallied 5 goals in just his last 10 games, on the year he tallied a career high 25 goals. Hayes has been around the 40-49 point range during his four years in the NHL. With a one-year contract and playing for his career in New York this year, Hayes will have a lot to prove to management in NY. We all know Hayes loves New York and he does not want to leave but only getting a one-year deal will just make the hefty center a little more motivated to have a break out 50 point year.

Alex Galchenyuk: Finally the kid is out of Montreal and elsewhere, perhaps Arizona is not the best spot but a change of environment is good. Gally gets highly underrated and under appreciated because of his terrible time in Montreal. We all can agree that coming to Arizona may not make him an 80 point player but it will make him a more effective and productive player. Last year Gally totaled 54 points in 82 games, his second best total in his career. We know this guy is a flashy player and he can be a threat in open ice, playing alongside two young wingers, this will be Gally’s time to take over the second line and be the scorer for not only line two but also the Coyotes. Playing on regular line two minutes and powerplay one, Gally is bound for a 60 point year.

Hampus Lindholm: We usually hear this guys name a decent amount but sometimes it is on the wrong end of things about how he is missing time, etc. Lindholm has not played a full 82 game year in his career, he has played 78 game years but in the most recent seasons he has played 66 and 69 games. If Lindholm can stay healthy and play a full 80 plus games, I would like to say with all the offensive power Anaheim has and minutes he will be seeing, he is destined for a break out year. Lindholm’s highest point total came 2014-15 where he tallied 34 points in 78 games. If the kid can stay healthy and stay in that top four mix while seeing regular power play and top four minutes it will for sure give Lindholm the chance for a 40 plus point season.

Darnell Nurse: The 2013 1st round pick has surely not panned out to be a first round worthy player. In his 4 years in the NHL he has played one full season, which was last year. Last year he tallied his highest point total of 26 points in 82 games. Nurse is a monstrous defenseman with a heavy shot and a player who the Oilers will be relying on to step up and play big minutes. If the Oilers can keep Nurse, Larsson and Klefbom healthy they do not have a terrible looking backend. Nurse plays pair one minutes and power play two, the guy will be logging an easy 22+ minutes a game. He knows what it feels like to play regular minutes and a full season now. If Edmonton as a whole can come together and be more successful I think we see a 35 point season out of Nurse.

Max Pacioretty, Kevin Hayes trade rumors, Ilya Kovalchuk watch

The trade rumors continue to fly surrounding Max Pacioretty the 29-year-old heading into the final year of his contract until he becomes an unrestricted free agent has been gaining a lot of interest from some teams. The 5-time 30 plus goal scorer has been the scoring piece in Montreal for the last 7 years now, while he has had his fair share of ups and downs in Montreal. Pacioretty still holds a ton of value. Going from 35 goals and 67 points in 82 games in 2016-17, Pacioretty had a rather disappointing season tallying 17 goals and 37 points in 64 games this season. Around the trade deadline Pacioretty was rumored to be on the move, but like we’ve seen before Montreal set the price a tad too high and were unable to move the left winger. Pacioretty has been said to get some interest from the St. Louis Blues and Buffalo Sabres, very small talk but it is something. The Blues have about 12 mil in cap space at the moment while the Sabres have around 19 mil in cap space. Whatever team does end up receiving Pacioretty will have to look into signing him to a good chunk of money. Coming off a 4.5 AAV contract, scoring 30 plus goals 5 times and 60 plus points 5 times Pacioretty is deserving of around 6 mil the least or 7.5 mil the maximum per year. While some teams have shown interest and the Canadiens are very open and willing to trade Pacioretty they have made it obvious if the deal is not right they are not going to do anything. General Manager Marc Bergevin did say he expects Pacioretty to be with the club for the 2018-19 season.

Per Stu Cowan a Montreal insider, Pacioretty has stated his desire to stay in Montreal and Bergevin has come out and said

“GM Marc Bergevin still has policy of not talking about contract negotiations but says at this point he expects captain Max Pacioretty to be back with the team next season”

Kevin Hayes on the move? 

NHL trade rumors

About 16 hours ago, rumors about Kevin Hayes being traded came out. The New York Rangers forward who recorded one of his best goal totals(25) in his four years has been said to be receiving significant interest over the last few hours. A few teams interested are the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. Hayes has been with the Rangers since 2014, being drafted in 2010 by the Blackhawks and coming over to the Rangers four years later. Hayes has quickly worked his way into the Rangers top six and has become one of the better forwards on this Rangers young roster now. Hayes has received his fair share of criticism during the Rangers playoff runs, two seasons ago Hayes was scratched for a few playoff games due to his poor performance and lack of production. Despite Hayes’s 10 points in 34 playoff games, he has consistently tallied around 40-45 points each season, his highest point total coming in 2016-17 where he notched 32 assists and 49 points. Last year Hayes picked it up tremendously towards the end of the year when the Rangers threw in the white flag and crumbled, Hayes scored 15 points in his last 20 games and was showing waves of confidence in his game. Now, with the Rangers still looking to move some pieces and rebuild a bit here the 26-year-old, four-year player has been said to have some teams interested in him.

What would the Rangers look for in Hayes? Probably an NHL ready prospect or player, being that Hayes is likely their number two center and certainly in their top six and also will be seeing powerplay minutes as well. An NHL-ready prospect and a second or third round pick is fair. Hayes was drafted in the first round 24th overall. Hayes is an RFA this season so whatever team does end up getting him if they do will have to sign him to at least a 2-3 year deal anywhere near 3 mil per year since he is coming off a 2.6 AAV contract. Despite the rumors, I would be a tad shocked to see Hayes walk after the season he just had and how much he loves playing in New York and how comfortable he is now due to the fact he will be a centerpiece for this Rangers team moving forward.

Ilya Kovalchuk Watch

Ilya Kovalchuk 2018Ilya Kovalchuk watch continues, the 35-year-old winger who has spent the last 5 years in the KHL is and wants to make his return to the NHL. Since showing interest in playing at the NHL level again, some teams have shown interest in him. When it first came out during the deadline, there was a lot of talk about how the Devils did not want to waive his rights. Eventually, they did and now teams have free range to the once Maurice Rocket Richard trophy winner. Kovalchuk has tallied 417 goals, and 816 points in 816 NHL games. At 35 he may not be able to do the things he used to do in his twenties but without a doubt, he will bring a solid contribution to any NHL team.

During his last five years in the KHL Kovalchuk scored 285 points in 262 games with 120 goals, now clearly the KHL is no NHL style hockey but Kovalchuk can definitely be of service to many NHL teams. And those teams looking at the hefty right winger, are the Blues, Bruins, Kings, Sharks, and Rangers. Kovalchuk visited with the Kings and Sharks one weekend, then was rumored to be talking with Boston to replace Rick Nash on the second line, the Blues just got into the mix and the Rangers have been there but have slowly fallen off with Kovalchuk. Right now there is no definite one team, there are many teams looking at Kovalchuk but one thing that is definite is that Kovalchuk wants around 5.5 to 6 mil per year and some teams definitely cannot afford that. For now, we continue to wait and watch!

Rangers look to play spoiler hockey vs Pittsburgh

It is clear as day that the Rangers are in fact out of the playoff hunt. Yes many of us knew that when it was the trade deadline and they traded nearly half their team. Some do not want to come to grips with the fact the Rangers may be a borderline playoff team for the next three years but that is ok. The Rangers since facing the reality that they will not be in the playoffs for the first time in 12-years have certainly been playing better. They are 4-4-2 in their last ten games and since their skid, they have won 5 of their last 7 games.

Rangers top guys, Hayes, Spooner clicking.

As a whole the Rangers are playing much better, possibly due to no pressure anymore, guys playing to make a statement next year or just wanting to be a spoiler hockey team the Rangers have been on the right road to close things out for the regular season. The production of Kevin Hayes has been amazing, Hayes has really surged into a top goal scorer for this team and cracked 20-goals on the year, the first time in his four-year career thus far. Also to mention, Ryan Spooner and Vladislav Namestnikov have been great additions to this Rangers team, in the last two weeks of play these have combined for 13 points, Spooner tallying 10 and Nanmestnikov tallying 3 points.

The future of the Rangers backend. It’s pretty bright. 

The Rangers also are showing some bright spots out of young defenseman like Neal Pionk and John Gilmour who since coming to the team have played a major role, as well stepping into top four defenseman minutes. Gilmour has slotted around 19 minutes per game, and has added 2 goals, 2 assists. While Pionk has been the brightest spot on the blue line aside from Brady Skjei, Pionk has slotted upwards of almost 20 minutes since coming to the team as well has tallied, 6 assists on the year. Cannot forget about the future of the Rangers crease, Alexander Georgiev who since coming to the team has started in five games and in those five games he has allowed 3 or fewer goals four out of the five. On the season he is posting 2 wins, 2.73 goals against and .930 save percentage. The future seems to be looking bright here for the Big Apple.

Little about the Penguins top guns. They’re good. 

Onto, the juggernaut and Stanley Cup favorites yet again, the Penguins. The Penguins have done the opposite of what the Rangers have done since the All-Star break they have been on fire and have shot all the way up in the rankings to now second in the Metro by one point. The Penguins play of Evgeni Malkin has certainly been the reason why they are this good lately, Malkin has won player of the month, player of the week twice and has tallied 9 goals and 15 assists in the last month of play. Now, throw in the best player in hockey Sidney Crosby, who has 14 points in the last month of play, on top of one of the best shooters in hockey, Phil Kessel with 4 goals, 9 assists in the last month of play. Yeah, it is pretty impossible to beat this team.

No Murray, No Problem.

The Penguins come into this game with Matt Murray still sidelined, although that won’t matter due to Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith holding down the fort quite well, plus having guys like I mentioned above in front of you, whoever is in this crease gets some solid support. The Penguins are 6-4-0 in their last ten games, coming off a win Sunday night vs Dallas, the Penguins are well rested and will be ready to come out flying tonight. They are 14-18-3 this season and in the last month of play, they’ve played five home games winning three of them. Even during a stretch of only four games in a month out of the 17 games they have played they have won 12 of those games. The Penguins have certainly pushed themselves into the conversation of possibly being three-peat Stanley Cup winners.

Penguins vs Rangers…

The Penguins and Rangers have faced off three times already this year and this will mark their final meeting. The Penguins currently hold the season series 2-1, winning in overtime once at the beginning of the year, dropping their second meeting at home and then beating the Rangers 5-2 two months ago. The history is rich between these two teams but with the Rangers being non-contenders this game is not so interesting to many. The Penguins are certainly the favorites here tonight but who knows with how the Rangers have been playing as of late, maybe they come out flying from the start, wanting to play some spoiler hockey vs the Penguins.

Rangers Spooner, Hayes look to continue point streaks vs Edmonton

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.