BRONX, NY – After having to endure a down day because of rain, New York Yankees‘ fans were left down–in-the-dumps after the Cleveland Guardians sucked the life out of Yankee Nation in 10 innings at a sun-splashed Yankee Stadium. One last note on this series before I ice the diamond talk: Aaron Judge is pulling his best Max Scherzer-as-a-hitter impersonation, going 1 for 8 with 7 Ks. We know you’re not getting anything to hit, A-Jud, but take the walks, man!
Now here’s Brian with hockey…
The NHL regular season is underway and the New York Hockey Rangers are looking to better their Eastern Conference Finals performance from last season. The Blueshirts got their season underway Tuesday night in thunderous fashion versus a Lightning team that was responsible for their playoff exit last year.
The New Yorkers got off to a flying start by beating Tampa 3-1. Mika Zibanejad opened his season account by cashing in two of the team’s three goals. Igor Shesterkin got his season off to a solid start only giving up the one goal. The defense played really well and all of the lines played their part. The Rangers won 64% of faceoffs, which seemed like something that could never happen last year.
Thursday night the Rangers went from strength-to-strength and the offense was firing on all cylinders against Mats Zuccarello and Angry Ward’s Minnesota Wild. NOTE: Ward’s Seattle Mariners also lost). Adam Fox scored his first of the season and Kaapo Kakko scored a wondergoal, where he skated around the net and the entire Wild team. Artemi Panarin got going as well with a goal and three assists. A bit of sloppy play in a wide-open third period let the Wild back into the game a bit but the Rangers still won going away.
All in all it was a successful first week of the season for the Rangers who will have the weekend off before taking on the Anaheim Ducks at Madison Square Garden Monday night. Vincent Trocheck has played well in the early goings winning faceoff and being a solid two-way center. The kids Kaako and Chytil played well this first week.
Last night, however, New York had a tough second leg of back-to-back road games. It was also Winnipeg’s home opener and their first game of the season. It was the Rangers’ third game in four nights to start the season and it showed. They had no legs and were out-skated at every turn. Backup goalie Jaroslav Halak played well but couldn’t steal a win for a tired Rangers team.
The Rangers do have some injury issues to contend with. Sammy Blais is out with an upper body injury and missed the first three games of the season. He’s skating again and should rejoin the team soon. His lengthy injury last season and the early setback this season don’t bode well for Blais being in the lineup a lot, though… Vitali Kravtsov is also hurt. Kravtsov had a sub-par preseason and now is hurt. He was going to start the season as the 13th forward but the injury has left him out for now. Tough to see where he will fit in without vast improvement. At this point he could be trade bait at the deadline.
That’s all for now. Let’s go Yanks!