Rangers had a bit of a rough patch this week but have a chance to make up for it in the standings in the next week. Before the Christmas break for NHL teams (No games are played on the 24th and 25th) the Rangers will get a chance to beat the Flyers, Devils, and Islanders. Without a doubt it’d really help it out in the standings if the Rangers win these games not to mention it would give the fans something to cheer about playing three very hated teams. It goes without saying that these games against divisional opponents (especially your rivals) are the games you want to win the most. Every Ranger fan wants the team to beat the Flyers, Devils, and Islanders.
Join me after the jump for breakdown on these match ups.
Tuesday, December 20th @NJD- These games are always fun to watch as both teams always go at each other hard. The Devils have been pretty hot lately riding a four game win streak. In the past week they climbed from 12th in the conference to 6th which is a pretty big jump. The biggest weakness for the Devils has been their goaltending as Johan Hedberg and Marty Brodeur have not played well this season. I’m going to note also that the shootout has been bailing the Devils out a lot as 7 of their 18 wins has come in the shootout, and their 11 regulation wins are the least of any team in the playoff picture.
Thursday, December 22nd vs. NYI- This will be the third meeting between the two teams but the first matchup of the season at MSG. I feel like a broken record talking about their problems but once again their goaltending and defense have been their biggest weaknesses all season to no one’s surprise. The Isles are only one point ahead of being in the basement of the Eastern Conference. But even with all that said no game against the Islanders is easy because they always seem to get fired up about playing the Rangers.
Friday, December 23rd vs. PHI- The Flyers have been riding high even without Chris Pronger (Who is done for the year) and Claude Giroux (Out indefinitely) until the team hit a brick wall against Boston yesterday. The Rangers will be lucky enough to not have to face the Flyers with their star players in the lineup. The Flyers are still a good team without those players but they are no longer a great team. This would be a great chance for the Rangers to get a W against such a hated rival. Not to mention the 24/7 cameras will be sure to catch every moment of the action as this is “tune-up” game for the Winter Classic.
The Rangers have a great opportunity to climb the conference standings and divisional standings this next week. Let’s see if they make the most of their opportunity.
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