Opening Faceoff: Rangers vs Islanders 10/19/17

After a demoralizing loss to the Penguins on Tuesday night, the Rangers will look to bounce back against the Islanders. The Rangers enter play tonight with the worst record in the East, 1-5-1, while the Isles sit just outside the top eight at 2-3-1. The Barclays Center residents are coming back from a California trip that saw them go 1-2. The Islanders are a fast team with a lot of young talent, and the Rangers will have their work cut out for them in this one.

Keys to Victory
  • Protecting the Puck – The Rangers struggles so far this season are due in large part to being careless with the puck. The Blueshirts lead the NHL in giveaways and that is not going to bode well if the Rangers have hopes of turning their season around.

  • Starting at 7 – The Rangers have trailed in all but two games this season, and have been trailing as early as 15 seconds into the game. The players need to get themselves mentally ready to go when the puck is dropped, especially tonight with the cross-borough rivals coming into MSG.

  • Beating Halak – The Islanders will be starting their Slovakian goaltender against the Blueshirts, and that hasn’t been good for the Rangers. Halak comes into play tonight at 7-3-0 with a 2.39 GAA and a .931 SV% against the Rangers. This has led to the Isles going 7-1 in the teams’ last eight games, and 8-2 in games at MSG.

If the Rangers want to get their season back in the right direction, beating Halak and the Islanders would be a great starting point.