Standings: Blue Jackets (17-35-6), Rangers (37-14-5)
NYR Leading Scorer: Marian Gaborik (27-22-49)
CBJ Leading Scorer: Rick Nash (18-21-39)
NYR Goaltender: Henrik Lundqvist (41 GS, 1.77 GAA, .941 SV%)
CBJ Goaltender: Steve Mason (31 GS, 3.47 GAA, .885 SV%)
(note: yes, you did read those Mason statistics correctly.)
Rangers Lines (probable):
Artem Anisimov-Derek Stepan-Marian Gaborik
Brandon Dubinsky-Brad Richards- Ryan Callahan
Carl Hagelin-Brian Boyle- Brandon Prust
Mike Rupp-John Mitchell-Stu Bickel
Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto-Anton Stralman
Marc Staal-Steve Eminger
First of the ice so Henrik Lundqvist will start. Did you expect anything else?
Scratches/Injuries: Jeff Woywitka (healthy), Wojtek Wolski (healthy), Ruslan Fedotenko (injury), Mike Sauer (concussion)
Preview: Thanks to a certain power forward playing tonight for the Blue Jackets and the time of year we find ourselves in, this game is almost the sideshow to the main event which is Rick Nash watch. Obviously all eyes will be on Nash but the Rangers need to take care of business. Thanks to the Nash rumor mill being in full flow it’s a game that could easily slip by unnoticed and turn in to a loss.
The Rangers are great in the game after a loss (last back to back losses in regulation in mid December) and will hopefully keep their record in such games going tonight. They will want to avoid starting any kind of losing streak, especially against the worst team in the league. The Blue Jackets are so bad, they’re 10 points worse than any other team and they have just 7 wins on the road so far.
As you may expect, Rick Nash is the Blue Jackets’ leading scorer but only has 18 goals and 39 points on the season. While that is far from bad his -24 is atrocious.
This game could be a chance for the Rangers to get the powerplay going again as Columbus sport an awful 75.5% on the penalty kill, good for dead last in the league. Not only that, only the equally goalie-less Tampa Bay club have a worst goals against/game than Columbus who at 3.22/game are certainly a liability in their own zone. A chance for the Rangers to do some scoring?
…Oh and if the Blue Jackets could get any worse defensively Sean Avery’s favorite former Islander James Wisniewski is expected to miss the game.
Crazy Thought: Brandon Dubinsky has a better game offensively than Rick Nash. Not crazy enough for you? Ok, Brian Boyle pots a pair.
Opponent’s Blog: The Cannon
Game Time is an inconvenient 8pm (which for little ol’ me in the UK is offensive, but I’ll live…)
Enjoy the game folks. Let’s Go Rangers!