Opening Faceoff: Rangers vs Red Wings 11/24/17

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After a 6-1 thrashing of the Carolina Hurricanes, the Blueshirts will try and win their third consecutive game, as they host the Detroit Red Wings.Detroit comes into this game trying to shake off two consecutive losses, an overtime defeat at the hands of the Avalanche, and a 6-2 drubbing at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers. The Wings sit in third place in the Atlantic division and have some young players that have all-star abilities.

Keys To Victory

Special Teams – As we mentioned before the game against the Hurricanes, special teams is going to play a factor in this game as well. The Red Wings PP sits right behind the Rangers in sixth place in the NHL at 23.2%, and their PK is fifth in the league at 84.8%. Detroit average just over 11 PIM (penalties in minutes) per game, so the Blueshirts should get plenty of chances to put the puck into the back of the net.

Shots, Shots, Shots, Shots – The Rangers are at their best when they are shooting the puck. That may sound ridiculous, but if you’ve watched enough Rangers hockey, you’ll have seen them pass up numerous shooting chances in hopes of making the pretty play. Both teams have similar shots per game totals, with the Rangers at 32.1 Shots/GP and the Red Wings at 30.9 Shots/GP. That one shot difference may not seem important, and normally you’d be right, it probably isn’t a big deal. However, the Rangers use that extra shot and usually score with it. They have a 10.2 Shooting percentage, while the Wings have a 9.2 Shooting percentage.

Starting Strong – One thing that hampered the Rangers during their struggles of October was their starts. And if the Rangers, for whatever reason, don’t come out ready to play when the puck drops, the Red Wings will make them pay. Detroit has not lost this season when leading after the first period. The Rangers have been much better in the last couple of weeks with their first-period play, and tonight isn’t the night to leave the energy in the dressing room.

Players to Watch

New York Rangers

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Jimmy Vesey – It’s been a bit of a rough patch for the sophomore out of Harvard. He’s hit numerous posts, had the puck roll off his stick, or had his shot blocked just before he could let it go. But that hasn’t deterred his confidence or willingness to shoot the puck and get to the dirty areas to try and score a goal. Look for him to get the monkey off his back in this one.

Rick Nash – Much like Vesey, the veteran Nash has had many scoring chances that just haven’t found the back of the net. And also like his younger counterpart, Nash still keeps the motor going and doesn’t let his string of bad puck luck get to his head. Be on the lookout for Nash, who in the final year of his contract is looking to make the best impression possible on both the Rangers and the rest of the NHL.

Detroit Red Wings

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Dylan Larkin – Perhaps the easy name to choose, Larkin is undoubtedly the leader of this Red Wings team. He leads the team with 20 points and plays in all situations for Jeff Blashill’s club. Larkin has ridiculous speed, and the Rangers defense will have their hands full with the speedy 21-year-old.

Justin Abdelkader – The rugged forward is not someone that will blow you away with dazzling skills, but he gets to the net and does the dirty work to help out his team. And his hard work has been rewarded this season, already recording 16 points in 21 games. He’s currently on pace to exceed his career high of 44 points in a season, and he may be on his way to doing just that.

Puck drops at 7!


Writer’s Note: I may be wrong in my interpretation of the stats, and if I am, please comment on it. I am trying to learn more about the analytics of hockey, so don’t be bashful if I made an error interpreting the stats.  

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