Opening Faceoff: Rangers vs Golden Knights 10/31/17
The Vegas Golden Knights are tearing it up in their inaugural season! At 8-2-0, no one would have thought that an expansion team would be playing this well. And the scary thing here is that both their starting and backup goalies are injured. Marc-Andre Fleury has been out since taking a knee to the head from Anthony Mantha, and Malcolm Subban has been out since October 21 with a lower-body injury. In last night’s game against the Islanders, third-string goalie Oscar Dansk suffered an injury as well, which probably means that Maxime Lagace, who came in to relieve Dansk, will get the start at MSG.
Keys to a Rangers victory:
- The Vegas Golden Knights do not have a great defense, with their best defenseman arguably being Nate Schmidt. The Rangers must be able to expose their weak defensive depth and play a heavy forechecking game. If the Rangers are picking a game to get their offense going, this matchup should be it, as it should be easier to play against Vegas’ bottom defensive pairings.
- The Rangers have to get off to a good start. In all three Rangers wins, the Rangers have scored first and won. The Rangers need to play a full sixty minutes and that starts in the first period.
- As has been well-documented, the Rangers lead the league in giveaways, now with 199 entering tonight’s game. So it goes without saying that the Rangers need to be better with their puck management. Sometimes the simple play is better than the fancier play, and that should be the Rangers motto against a Vegas team that will kill you in transition. By the same token, the Blueshirts need to make sure their d-zone exits are crisp. Too many times the Rangers have turned the puck over in their own end and gotten burned. This is one of the biggest areas of concern for the Rangers and will need to be remedied ASAP if there are any remaining hopes of playing hockey in late April.
AV confirms #NYR lines from practice will start tonight:
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) October 31, 2017
- Former Rangers center Oscar Lindberg makes his return to MSG after being selected by Vegas during the NHL Expansion Draft. Lindberg was a solid member of the Blueshirts, putting up 48 points (21G, 27A) while playing mostly bottom-six minutes.
- Shea Theodore will make his Las Vegas debut tonight.