The New York Rangers disposed of the lowly Detroit Red Wings last night at Madison Square Garden with ease. They got out to a 3-0 lead and finished off the Red Wings for a 5-1 victory. There were a lot of horrible moments for the Red Wings in that outing, but my goodness, the shorthanded goal they allowed to go down 4-1 was pathetic.
You can go back and watch it if you haven’t, but if you’ve ever played beer league hockey it looked a bit like that. It was another sloppy effort by the Red Wings and the Rangers were able to seize the opportunity. The Rangers were on the heels of an ugly outing against the Senators going into last night, so they needed a performance like that.
The competition level is going to be turned up a notch on Thursday night. They’ll be in Raleigh on a back-to-back against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Rangers have a couple of recent wins to hang their hat on. A win over the Red Wings isn’t going to garner much attention, but they did defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning and Nashville Predators before falling to the Senators.
It’s likely going to continue to be an up and down season for the Rangers, as they continue to progress. Despite signing Artemi Panarin, the Rangers are probably a couple of years off from being a real threat again. They could really do themselves with favours with a win tonight. Beat the Hurricanes on a back-to-back, which will include recent wins over the Predators and Lightning, and the Rangers have something to boast about.
Letdowns like they had against the Senators are going to be the norm before this team gets more experience together, though. Carolina are back home tonight following a 4-1 loss against the Flyers on Tuesday night in Philadelphia. They will be looking to avoid a three-game losing streak in this one. Their last win was against the Red Wings on November 1st by a score of 7-3. Everyone is beating the Red Wings by a large margin these days. Head below for our free Rangers vs. Hurricanes pick.
N.Y. Rangers vs. Carolina Hurricanes Pick
A successful season might have the Rangers as a fringe team for the playoffs. They’re aiming for the playoffs with the Panarin signing, but he’s probably going to have to be patient if he expects this season to play out like it did with the Blue Jackets last season. With a record of 6-6-1 and 13 points, they’re 12 points behind the Washington Capitals for 1st in the Metropolitan. Competing with the Capitals or even the Hurricanes right now in the standings is asking a lot, but there are positives to like here.
24-year-old Tony DeAngelo and Pavel Buchnevich are playing like they belong and should be able to spearhead a solid future in NYC. Panarin is by far the best player on their roster this season, though. The 28-year-old leads the Rangers in goals and points with 7 goals and 7 assists. What the Rangers envision is the Rangers being a threat when Kaapo Kakko gets a couple of years experience under his belt. The 18-year-old has looked good with 3 goals and 2 assists, but is obviously raw at the moment.
Like a lot of young players, defence is often secondary to scoring goals and getting on the highlight reel. The Rangers have struggled in the regard, with 3.31 goals against per game. Goaltending has been an issue at times as well. Henrik Lundqvist isn’t in his prime any longer and Alexander Georgiev has been spotty. Georgiev will get the nod in Raleigh for this contest. He enters with a 2.87 GAA and 0.913 save percentage on the year.
The Rangers won’t have the luxury of facing an incompetent Detroit offence tonight. Carolina are much more efficient offensively, especially at home where they’ve logged 3.75 goals scored per game. The Hurricanes are, however, allowing 3.14 goals against per game. Expect the Rangers to put a fight in this one, but it likely won’t be enough. There doesn’t appear to be much value on the Hurricanes here, though. The OVER looks like a better option in this matchup.