NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2016-17 campaign tonight when the Columbus Blue Jackets host the New York Rangers at 7:30 p.m. ET. If you want to watch the game online, you can do so here.
The Rangers have been invincible since the beginning of the month. They just completed a perfect 4-0 homestand at MSG and they head into tonight’s game riding a five-game winning streak.
Henrik Lundqvist, who collected his 400th win on Saturday, has been between the pipes for each of those five straight victories. After going through many ups and downs in 2016-17, he finally seems to have found a level of consistency to his game. That can only be beneficial to the Rangers heading into the final stretch of the regular season.
Another player who’s been contributing with regularity is forward J.T. Miller. Oh by the way, he leads the team in scoring and he’s on a six-game point streak. Miller’s racked up four multi-point games during that stretch and he’s also recorded at least one point in nine of his last 10 games and 16 of 18.
A win over the Blue Jackets would propel the Rangers into a three-way tie for second in the Metropolitan Division with 75 points, but they’ve played more games than both Columbus and Pittsburgh.
The last time the Rangers dropped a game was back on Jan. 31 when they lost a 6-4 decision to this very same Columbus team.
The Jackets have cooled off since they went on their 16-game winning streak earlier this season. After leading the division for a while, they’ve dropped to second place and are currently nine points behind the red-hot Capitals with two games in hand.
They’re still in the midst of putting together a quality season, but are things starting to unravel under John Tortorella’s watch?
On Saturday, Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos and Elliotte Friedman talked about how the players recently had a meeting with Tortorella about how they want him to ease up on them and be more positive around the group.
You’re probably thinking, “same old Torts,” right? But according to captain Nick Foligno, the report made things seem worse than they actually are.
“This whole story is blown out of proportion,” Foligno told the Columbus Dispatch on Sunday. “We talked about a lot of things in the meeting. Meetings happen all the time, and I’m not sure why this one was turned into something way more than what it was.”
Columbus is coming off a 2-1 win over the Red Wings on Saturday night, but they’ve been mediocre during this last stretch. In their last 18 contests, they’ve managed to come away with just eight wins.
Every team goes through rough patches over the course of an 82-game season, but we’ll see how this young team responds with the Pens and Rangers breathing down their neck.
Even though the schedule won’t be easy this week, Columbus is fortunate that their games against Toronto, Pittsburgh and Nashville will all be played at home. They’ll then go on their bye week before returning home to take on the Isles on Feb. 25. Their next road game won’t come until the 26th when they take on these same Rangers.