Original Six rivals face off at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night when the New York Rangers host the Boston Bruins.
The Rangers come into the game having won two in a row and three out of their past four, while the Bruins were blown out just 24 hours earlier at home against the Minnesota Wild.
Making matters worse for the Bruins is the fact they are also dealing with some major injury issues having lost their top two goalies (Tuukka Rask and Anton Khudobin) to injury. That means they will be giving rookie Zane McIntyre his first NHL start after Malcolm Subban was benched on Tuesday.
The Bruins will also be without veteran forward David Backes.
You can catch tonight’s game (8 p.m. ET) on NBCSN or with our NHL Extra live stream.
More links to get you ready for tonight’s game
The contract’s signed, the visa issues are sorted and he’s already taken a morning skate.
Now, all Rickard Rakell needs to do is get clearance.
Rakell, who 12 days ago signed a six-year, $22.8 million extension, was back on the ice this morning ahead of Anaheim’s game against the visiting Nashville Predators this evening.
The 23-year-old’s return was hung up by a variety of issues. First, there was the obvious one — he had no contract — and once that was signed, Rakell was in limbo awaiting his visa.
And he’s still not in the clear.
Rakell is dealing with the ramifications from offseason abdominal surgery — a procedure related to an earlier appendectomy, that kept him out of the World Cup of Hockey — and is unclear as to when he can make his season debut.
“I’m just anxious to get back and at least try,” he said, per NHL.com.
Prior to rejoining the Ducks, Rakell had been working out and skating in his native Sweden, though none of his activity included contact. That will be the next step in his progression.
Following a lengthy road trip to start the year, the Ducks are now locked into the state of California for quite some time. Tonight’s home tilt is followed by another Friday against the Jackets, followed by a “road” game in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Nov. 1.
From there, the team plays three more times at Honda: Nov. 2 against the Penguins, Nov. 4 against the Coyotes, and No. 6 against the Flames.
So, there’s a pretty good chance Rakell’s debut will come at home.
Just one day after news broke that investor Chris Hansen was willing to forego public financing to build a downtown arena that could potentially house an NHL and/or NBA team, there’s been another twist in the long-running Seattle saga.
The latest from King 5 News:
If Chris Hansen passed the ball back to the city Tuesday, Mayor Ed Murray isn’t ready to execute a slam dunk.
In other words, Murray has other ideas for a new sports arena in Seattle, and it involves Key Arena.
The mayor’s budget director, Ben Noble, told KING 5 that the mayor’s office is quietly exploring a major renovation of Key Arena at Seattle Center. The facility was home to the NBA’s SuperSonics until 2008 when efforts to renovate and expand its size fell through, prompting the team’s sale and move to Oklahoma City.
It’s definitely worth noting that AEG, the same company that owns the Los Angeles Kings, is the facilities manager for Key Arena. It was reported last year that billionaire Victor Coleman had been in touch with AEG, and that his group was willing to explore the Key Arena option for an NHL team.
Coleman, of course, has also worked as Hansen’s NHL partner, though their agreement to work together was reportedly “non-binding.”
At the moment, it’s not clear which option — Hansen’s project or Key Arena — Coleman would prefer to pursue, or even if he’s still involved at all.
But for Seattle hockey fans, the good news is that there’s, well, news.
And there may be more news soon.
Here’s a radio interview with King 5 reporter Chris Daniels, who’s been all over this story:
Yesterday, they got Sidney Crosby back.
Soon, the Pittsburgh Penguins should have another key player back in the lineup. Kris Letang, their top defenseman, participated in full-contact practice today, taking the same step Crosby took two days ago.
“He had a good day on the ice today, we’ll see where it goes from there,” head coach Mike Sullivan said of Letang, who’s missed three games with an upper-body injury. “We’re encouraged with his progress. We’re hoping to get him back soon.”
The Penguins host the Islanders tomorrow night. Don’t be surprised if Letang plays. He skated with Ian Cole at this morning’s practice.
If Letang isn’t ready to go against the Isles, his next opportunity to return will be Saturday in Philadelphia.