Puck Face Different Matt Stalks NY Rangers, NHL Road Warriors

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Puck Face @Different_Matt & 3 Nerds stalk NY Rangers; NHL Road Warriors

BRONX, NYHappy New Year, Mattsville. I’m back with another Rangers update. The Blueshirts have sputtered a bit at home, but they’ve found their road form of late. During the holiday period they won big road games in Phoenix and Denver. They came home and laid an egg against DJ Eberle’s Buffalo Bills Sabres, before beating a tough Philadelphia Flyers team on the road Wednesday night. The Broadway Blues have been scoring goals in droves on the road, scoring six in each of the games against the Coyotes and Avalanche, before adding another five Wednesday night in Philthy Philly.

I made the trip out to Phoenix and Denver to watch the Blueshirts. You may think I’m crazy, and you’re probably right. A normal person probably wouldn’t fly out to the desert to watch a hockey game. But there were a lot of Rangers fans that either made the journey or have moved out west permanently. And they all came out for both games. The arena in Phoenix was about 40% Blueshirts faithful and three in ten in Colorado were clad in blue sweaters. It was a wonderful sight. Rangers fans travel well. “Potvin Sucks” chants were everywhere. The other road games I’ve been to outside of the northeast (Anaheim and Los Angeles last season) were no different. If New York is in town, there will be plenty of blue, red, and white tops in the crowd.

The Rangers have a tough one in Columbus Saturday night before they get a much needed six-day break. Then they host the Maple Leafs next Friday before heading up to Montreal for one of their yearly Saturday night soirees in Montreal. I’m going to that game also (it’s a sickness, I know). The Rangers have managed to keep pace with the red-hot Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins while battling some key injuries. They should be close to full strength after the upcoming “bye week”.

Photo: Devaney/GC Images

Mika Zibanejad is skating again after his broken leg. He’s close to the end of the 4-6 week recovery period and could be back in the lineup next week. Rick Nash and Pavel Buchnevich are also just about healthy and could play Saturday in Columbus. The Blue Jackets just had their 16-game win streak broken by the Washington Capitals (5-0!) last night, but they’re still a very dangerous team. Expect a fiery and physical game Saturday night. BJ’s coach John Tortorella will make sure of that. He’ll be looking to make the Rangers pay for Thursday night’s broken plates.

The Metropolitan Division is deep this year. Viggy’s Troops have 55 points and are in third place in the division. By comparison, the Chicago Blackhawks have 51 points and lead the entire Western Conference. The Rangers will have to play well the second half of the season to keep pace. Things should get better once the Blueshirts are healthy. We’ll start to see that this weekend.

Hopefully the squad can stay healthy the rest of the way. Henrik Lundqvist is returning to form after a poor run of games. He kept the Rangers in the game against the Flyers until the offence (Canadian spelling) could take over. Things are looking good for the Broadway Blueshirts.

That’s all for me today. Feel free to weigh in below and come back for the Mr. Du Jour!  And please follow us on Twitter  @MeetTheMatts, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.

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About the Author ()

Different Matt is our cunning Cornell grad/rugby player. "Diff" joined us just after the switch from being "Mets only" to an all-sports stop. He's a Yankee fan; thus he was "different." Aside from the Yanks, he's a diehard NY Giants, NY Rangers and NY Knicks fan. He also likes long walks on the beach and cappuccinos and nearly died in Las Vegas.
  • benwhit

    I know the temptation will be to play the Jackets at close to full strength, but if you give Nash and Buch one more game, you’re giving them one more full week to recover.

    • And whenever players don’t feel good, let them rest, right? What is this, the NBA?! You should be ashamed of yourself.

      • benwhit

        I pull my groin quite frequently. It takes time to recover.

        • AngryWard

          I like this from the new Dad on the block. There’s no reason to curtail your hobbies.

  • benwhit

    Potvin does suck

    • Dennis Potvin should have trademarked “Potvin Sucks” years ago.

  • Cheesybruin

    Diff, C’mon bro. There isn’t a hockey lover alive that would label contests against Colorado and Phoenix as big games no matter who you root for. The fact that my Bruins wouldn’t beat either one of them aside, maybe you got a little caught up in the moment of travelling with your Ranger brethren? The Rangers recent bump in the road has more to do with injuries than anything else. They’ve rested Lundqvist with amazing success and once they acquire another defensemen, and you know they will, they’ll make one more Cup run in the spring.

    • Cheesy, when you win in the desert when your body is used to wet, cold air and also win in dry air, a mile up, that’s big. It’s not like they took the Amtrak to Philly or D.C… Please get that Bronx Bruins head out of your a$$.

      • Cheesybruin

        Let’s remember this when the Mets flounder against the Rockies and Diamondbacks, shall we?

  • jgclancy

    USA-Canada Junior World Hockey—USA wins on crappy shootout crappola
    On another note I had some really good beef stew last night!

    • We got your beef stew right here.

    • AngryWard

      I’d like to hear more about the beef stew, myself.

    • Cheesybruin

      Can’t remember the last time I had a good beef stew or Shepherd’s Pie for that matter.

      • Junoir Blaber

        the Heritage on Mclane in Yonkers has a good Shepherd’s Pie.

        • Cheesybruin

          Thanks, JB!

  • Dropping the puck, for a moment (see what we did there?) – can anyone explain why the Nets and Knicks perennially suck despite being in the biggest market in the NBA, year in and year out?

    • jgclancy

      Management….The End

  • AngryWard

    Not so fast there with your dismissal of the Western Conference, Diff. The Blackhawks do lead it with 53 points, but my Wild are one point back and have a whopping four games in hand. You split those games (2 wins and 2 losses) and they are right there at the top. How soon you forget the pre-holiday beatdown they gave the Blueshirts at MSG,

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