J-E-T-S Jets Jets Winnipeg Jets?
The high-flying™ Jets visit the World’s Most famous tonight to battle your New York Rangers. The Rangers coached by John Tortorella (who still must go, by the way) begin a four game homestand tonight and desperately need the two points at stake. The Blueshirts will once again try to find offense from somewhere. Maybe its coming with the newly renovated MSG’s new Skybridge™?
The Rangers received some good news today when Rick Nash actually laced up for practice. In the three games that Nash missed the Rangers went 0-2-1, with a sum total of 1 goal scored by their 12 forwards. The Big forward is suffering the effects of a concussion that he received from a Milan Lucic elbow to the head in Boston. Although it is not officially a concussion and it is none of Katie Strang’s and ours as fans collective business. The not-concussion injury to Nash’s groin or shoulder should keep him out of the game against the Jets. But who knows, maybe he pulls a Willis Reed tonight?
Apparently, Stu Bickell and Brandon Mashinter will play tonight and add toughness to the lineup. Toughness that obviously doesn’t extend to protecting your best players when they get face-mashed into the glass.
Speaking of face mashings, Ryan McDonagh is also out with a not-concussion injury. Judging from the pasting he received in Montreal when his head was smashed into the glass (Way to protect those players NHL!) McD is probably out with an ankle injury. Michael Del Zotto is also out with a broken hip or something of that nature from his getting blasted along the wall. Arron Asham is also out, but that has been the pattern over his career and shouldn’t make much of a difference.
So the Rangers hit the ice with a D corps of Dan Girardi and Marc Staal on the solid first pair. Followed by Anton Stralman (who has been pretty good) and Matt Gilroy (Zoinks!) The third pair is Stu Bickel and Brad Richards fashion show bestie Steve Eminger (Double Zoinks!) The third will most likely get about 8 or 9 minutes of ice tonight. Henrik Lundqvist is back between the pipes and that should help.
Up front, Carl Hagelin, Derek Stepan and Captain Cally will make up the first unit.
Big Game Broadway Buyout Brad Richards will center Marian Gaborik and Taylor Pyatt (who has been invisible of late.) Torts fave J.T. Miller gets to skate with the player formerly known as 6’7″ 230 lb Brian Boyle and Torts – what is the opposite of fave? Chris Kreider who is being wonderfully developed by Torts and staff. The final trio is Jeff Halpern winged by Brandon Mashinter and Darroll Powe who returns to the lineup after his scary face plant. Powe is a big addition because he blocks more shots than even Cally and is excellent on the PP.
That is the squad that will look to right the ship against the Jets tonight.
The Jets (who easily have the NHL’s worst uniforms) should be a solid two points for the Blueshirts on home ice tonight, but with this year’s club it is foolhardy to bank on such givens. Evander Kane is a beast, who can skate fight and score for the Jets. Andrew Ladd seems to always score against the NYR and Ondrej Pavalec is pretty good in net. However, this will most likely be a close slog that is decided by the power play. I’m sure Torts and Sully have been obsessing over the PP and will surprise us with some interesting strategy tonight. Or not.