The New York Rangers are on fire. In a week that should have given the Rangers and their fans four home games, sadly, they only got three. Thanks to COVID, the game against the New York Islanders was postponed. Unfortunately, there’s no news as of right now as to when the game will be made up. This makes the second game the Rangers have put on hold, the first being the game against the Ottawa Senators.
This past week, the Rangers have come through, even at times when their play was lacking. Igor Shesterkin has been one of those players for the team. He was outstanding in the game against the Philadelphia Flyers and was doing great until he was injured in the game against the San Jose Sharks. He’s been placed on injured reserve, and he will be out of action for the next week. After that, it is anyone’s guess. The Rangers called up Adam Huska from the Hartford Wolf Pack, and he will serve as the team’s backup for the time being.
New York Rangers vs. Islanders
November 28, 2021
Too bad we could not go round two with little brother. Maybe next time.
New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers
December 1, 2021
Madison Square Garden
Despite the Rangers making it look easy if you were to take the score at face value, it was not as easy as it appeared to be. The Rangers had to fight to win the game. They were outplaying the Flyers until the Rangers took a five-minute major penalty. Hunt hit Flyers’ defenseman Justin Braun, and the officials called it charging, giving Hunt the five-minute major penalty along with a game misconduct.
After that moment, the Rangers appeared to have lost their momentum despite killing off the penalty. Shesterkin made seven saves, lost his stick, and had to play with Trouba’s. It gave the Flyers leverage, getting them back into the game. Thanks to K’Andre Miller near the end of the second and Fox in the third, the Rangers gave the Flyers several more opportunities to get powerplay goals. However, they were able to fend them off.
Barclay Goodrow took a shot from Keith Yandle that shattered his face shield in the third. The Rangers were down two forwards for the final 13:15 of the game, but they made it through and captured the victory,
New York Rangers vs. San Jose Sharks
December 3, 2021
Madison Square Garden
06:03-Ryan Strome, Fox & Zibanejad
There really was not much going on in this game. Instead, there was a lot of back and forth, where both teams played great defense. The Rangers scored early on a powerplay in the first; it would be the game’s only goal. The goaltenders put on a show with Adin Hill making a series of fabulous saves for the Sharks, keeping the Rangers from putting it in the net again. Alexandar Georgiev came into the game in the third after Shesterkin was injured and did an outstanding job of turning away all nine shots on goal that he faced. He showed that he could come in and be the one that his teammates could rely on.
A highlight of the game was seeing Logan Couture lineup up Panarin for an open-ice hit and instead just kind of bounced off of him. The Sharks outshot the Rangers 28-27 and won 57.8 percent of the faceoffs. Neither team gave up much, but the goaltending made all the difference.
New York Rangers vs. Chicago Blackhawks
December 4, 2021
Madison Square Garden
04:41-Strome, Panarin & Fox
17:25-Fox, Panarin & Strome
14:46-Panarin, Strome & Trouba
18:41-Alex DeBrincat, Kane & Jones
This game had a few questionable calls by the officials; both outcomes favored the Blackhawks. Georgiev might have had a 3-0 shutout win if it was not for those two calls. However, it is what it is. The Rangers backed him up defensively and played a good game against the Blackhawks. With one of those iffy calls coming late in the third, the game started to feel more like an adventure in nail-biting. However, the Rangers continued to hold and managed to keel the Blackhawks from tying or winning the game.
“It felt great to be back in the action,” Georgiev said of his effort on the ice. “I want to play, and work hard. When I get my chance, have my team win.”
At the time of the win against Chicago, the Rangers improved to 16-4-3 with 35 points, which made them the fourth-best team in the NHL.
What We Learned This Week
The Rangers are still in it to win it, despite not looking so hot at times. They’re still not playing a full 60-minute game each time, but they are finding ways of grinding out that win. These three games, plus the three last week, have given the Rangers a nice six-game win streak.
The Rangers are on fire, and for once, it’s not coming from a dumpster.
How the Upcoming Week Looks
Will the Rangers be able to keep their win streak alive? Maybe. It’s the longest one they’ve had so far this season. They will face the Blackhawks again, this time on the road. Georgiev was able to hold them off; will he be able to do it again. They have to be back at home the next night to face the Colorado Avalanche.
Will Georgiev have to play back to back? Will he be able to do it? Questions will continue to linger. Huska is a decent goalie; however, he’s not ready to be the starter unless it’s absolutely necessary. If Georgiev hits a slump, it wouldn’t be out of the question for Huska to get at least one game.
Then the Rangers are off again for another road game, this time against the Buffalo Sabres. Hopefully, the Rangers will continue to keep Shesterkin on IR for as long as needed. New York does not need him to be rushed back.
Follow Liz Pendergraft on Twitter @lizzibear824
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images