The New York Rangers are 28-15-1. That's enough points to lead one of the NHL's divisions and to have second place in another. The Rangers, sadly enough for them, I guess, play in the Metropolitan- Where it is not good enough for either of those things.
It's good enough for fourth place, behind the Penguins, Blue Jackets and ridiculous Washington Capitals and their 64 points.
Which is why when you go to read New York Ranger news, you see a lot of criticism and negativity- Not what you expect when you're looking at the Stars' point total and the Ranger's, which is vastly superior.
And what do scribes in the north east go after when a team is struggling? Why, the goaltenidng of course-
Starting with Tuesday night’s Garden match against the Stars, Lundqvist is more than likely to play all five games before the break. Stellar backup Antti Raanta is dealing with a lower-body injury and was put on a “seven to 10 day” timetable by coach Alain Vigneault, adding it’s “doubtful” he’ll be ready before the break.
So it’s Lundqvist, who has given up four or more goals in five of his past seven games, who will be carrying the load.
“Hank has played some real great hockey for us this year in some games, and some other games he hasn’t been as consistent,” Vigneault said. “And that’s the issue right now. But the body of work he’s had throughout his career tells us that he’s going to find the answer and become the goaltender we know.” [NY Post]
The USA Today says he is going as far as getting new pads-
When Henrik Lundqvist arrived at the New York Rangers' practice facility Monday, there was a new pair of goalie pads waiting for him.
The 34-year-old immediately began to break them in, and said he might even don the new pads in Tuesday's home game against the Dallas Stars. Just don't chalk it up to superstition.
To solve his struggles — perhaps the worst stretch of his storied career — Lundqvist isn't relying on any old hockey beliefs. Instead, he stayed late after practice to face countless skaters on breakaways and hopes to "respond in a good way." [USA Today]
And the New York Daily News:
Henrik Lundqvist was understandably frustrated and disappointed with himself after Saturday's 5-4 loss, three goals allowed in 62 seconds in the third period turning the game on its head. It was most noticeable when he was asked if he saw Alexei Emelin's 68-footer which snuck by him with a screen in front, the Montreal goal which tied the game 3-3 and sparked the three-goal barrage.
"Did it look like I (saw) it? No. No, I didn't see it. So that's that," said Lundqvist, who didn't start but entered to begin the second period after Antti Raanta left with a lower-body injury. [NY Daily News]
Frosty. But one thing is certain- The Stars are going to get a highly focused Henrik Lundqvist tonight. The question, this season, anyway, is whether Dallas will get enough quality looks to really make him look for it. That's not often the case these days with a Stars team that can't seem to get out of its own end.
The other topic Google will serve to you is Cody Eakin. The Rangers have been asked. They remember. They are planning on "having a conversation" with him about it at some point this evening. So the Ginger Ninja will have to tread lightly.
As much greif as their media is giving them they've scored 37 goals in their last nine games. 4.11 per game over that stretch. That's ridiculous. The Stars have scraped 3.0 per game over their last nine, thanks in large part to the Kings and Red Wings games, and not much else.
Jamie Benn got the business from the media yesterday-
Some quotes on Jamie Benn's struggles: pic.twitter.com/nblrOyKnXS— Mark Stepneski (@StarsInsideEdge) January 16, 2017
Better with his body language, he said.
It's how we all feel as this thing starts really getting away from everyone.
The Rangers lineup:
From Stars PR:
The Dallas Stars and New York Rangers meet on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden on the second night of back-to-back. The Stars and Rangers meet for the second and final time this season, with the Rangers recording a 2-0 shutout victory in the first game of the 2016-17 regular-season series on Dec. 15 at American Airlines Center. In the most recent meeting between the two clubs in New York City on Jan. 5, 2016, the Rangers defeated the Stars, 6-2. Defenseman John Klingberg (1-0=1) and forward Antoine Roussel (1-0=1) recorded goals for Dallas, with forwards Jason Spezza (0-2=2) and Patrick Sharp (0-1=1) recording assists. In two games during the 2015-16 season, Spezza (0-2=2) and forward Radek Faksa (1-1=2) led the club in points against the Rangers.
Forward Jason Spezza recorded an assist (0-1=1) on Saturday night against the Wild and has assists in two-straight games (0-2=2). The forward has assists in five of his last six games (0-5=5) and 12 points (2-10=12) over his last 11 games. Spezza ranks third on the team with 27 points (7-20=27), 18 of which (3-15=18) have come over his last 20 games. He ranks second on the club with a 52.9% (219-of-414) faceoff winning percentage. Spezza has nine points (3-6=9) in 15 road games this season, with four points (1-3=4) over his last four road games. The native of Toronto, Ont. has five points (1-4=5) over his last four games against the New York Rangers and is riding a five-game point streak (5-5=10) at Madison Square Garden. In 37 career games against the Rangers, Spezza has 33 points (13-20=33).
KLING OF THE HILL
Defenseman John Klingberg registered a game-high three points (1-2=3) against Minnesota on Saturday and is riding a two-game point streak (2-2=4). The blueliner has eight points (4-4=8) over his last six games and 12 points (5-7=12) over his last 12 games. Klingberg leads all Stars defensemen and ranks fourth on the club with 26 points (7-19=26) in 42 games this season. Amongst League defensemen, he is tied for 11th in both points (26) and goals (7), while sharing 13th in assists (19). Klingberg ranks first on Dallas with 23:06 time on ice per game and ranks fourth with 57 blocked shots this season. He also paces all team blueliners with 18 takeaways in 2016-17. The native of Gothenburg, Sweden has recorded two (1-1=2) of his three career points against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.