NEW YORK, NY – It’s been a weird week for the New York Hockey Rangers. After a bad overtime loss and a fight between teammates, the Blueshirts have rattled off two solid wins and are playing some fine hockey.
Following Saturday night’s 5-4 overtime loss to the Penguins there was an altercation between goalie Alexandar Georgiev and Anthony DeAngelo. The brass have been mum on the details but rumor has it that DeAngelo was riding Georgiev about the overtime Crosby goal. Georgiev had heard enough and, allegedly, punched DeAngelo with his blocker before putting the defenseman in a headlock.
The organisation (Canadian spelling) had been wearing thin with DeAngelo’s behavior recently. Head coach David Quinn had warned DeAngelo after the 25-year old defenseman reacted poorly to being benched earlier in the season. And the altercation with Georgiev was the . The Rangers immediately put DeAngelo on waivers. With nobody claiming the blue-liner, the Rangers dropped Tony D to the taxi squad.
The team hasn’t looked back and they’ve rattled off two solid wins against the Penguins and Capitals. Igor Shesterkin has settled in and played very well in those two games. Artemi Panarin has been a points machine on the ice with a goal and two assists against the Penguins Monday night and three more apples last night against Ovechkin and the Capitals.
And the Rangers have gotten contributions from role players with Kevin “Mickey” Rooney (aka The Fireball ) scoring a goal Monday and adding an assist last night on Anthony Bitetto’s first goal as a New York Ranger and his first goal in over three years. Bitetto scored a great backhanded goal after skating around the net, avoiding a hit and skating through the Caps defense. He called his goal magical. It certainly wasn’t anything anyone would have expected from the journeyman role player. Ryan Strome added two goals last night in the team’s 4-2 win. He had a chance for the hat trick but couldn’t find the empty net. A few seconds later Pavel Buchnevich iced the game with his empty netter.
The team is coming together, even after losing DeAngelo, who was slated to be a fixture on the blue line for the foreseeable future. Now DeAngelo is on the trading block, with the Calgary Flames in talks with NY on a potential trade that could send centre (Canadian spelling) Sam Bennett to MSG, with DeAngelo heading to western Canada.
The Broadway Blues are in desperate need of some help in the middle of the ice. the 24-year old Bennett would help to fill that gap. Bennett is decent in the face-off circle, which has been a real problem for the Rangers.
The Rangers game tomorrow against the New Jersey Devils has been postponed due to COVID protocol, so they will have a bit of an extended break until their next game against the Islanders on Monday. The signs from the Rangers have been more encouraging of late after a rocky start to the season. The Blueshirts have climbed out of the cellar in the East and will be looking to make it three wins in a row against the Isles on Monday.
Speaking of this that smell like fish, tune in tomorrow for Short Matt… but first leave your shavings or slush below.