It wasn’t always pretty, but the New York Rangers ended their well-traveled seven game road trip with a 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets tonight. They’ll have a chance to rest up at home now, with six games in a row at Madison Square Garden starting Thursday.
Historically speaking, the Rangers are used to being displaced from MSG for long periods of time. The circus (and the circus that can often be the New York Knicks) ranks as one of the attractions that can disrupt the hockey – or at least leave a funky smell at the rink.
This time around, alterations to the arena itself kept them on an extended road trip to start the season. Here’s a look at how their first seven games played out.
Oct. 7 and Oct. 8: back-to-back games in Stockholm, Sweden (against the Kings and Ducks)
Oct. 15: at Islanders
Oct. 18: at Canucks
Oct. 20: at Flames
Oct. 22: at Oilers
Oct. 24: at Jets
The Rangers basically traveled to Sweden, Long Island and then Western Canada (plus Winnipeg) to start the 2011-12 season. They finished a passable 3-2-2 for eight points in seven games, placing them third in the Atlantic Division (with both the Devils and Islanders right behind them) at this moment.
Sure, they might have “sucked from head to toe” a couple times along the way, but the Rangers stayed afloat and now find themselves with a big opportunity. We’ll see if they can take advantage starting on Thursday.
Video: Canucks escape Arizona with another win for the moms
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.
“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.
“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”
7 hours of back and forth legal speak…otherwise known as the Wideman appeal has concluded in NYC.