How far will the Rangers get this season?

Game Day: Hurricanes Visit The Garden
The Rangers look to get back in the win column and Evgeny Grachev makes his season debut...

Grachev has struggled as a professional

Grachev has struggled as a professional

Hurricanes @ Rangers

Madison Square Garden, 7:00 p.m. tonight

Rangers record: 4-3-1

Hurricanes record: 4-4-0


The Rangers look to get back on the winning track tonight with the first game of a back-to-back (don’t worry there are plenty more of them coming) against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Rangers got a little too confident with how they’d been playing and seemed to think they’d coast to victory Wednesday night after Ryan Callahan scored less than a minute into the game.  Though the loss was chalk full of mistakes and lazy efforts (until the end) Coach John Tortorella admitted that maybe it wasn’t the worst thing in the world.  “We didn't play well enough consistently enough...and we are not good enough to do that...we didn't deserve to win,” he said.  Hopefully the 6-4 loss to Atlanta will serve as a reminder to the Rangers that nothing will come easy for them while their stars are hurt.  The Rangers proved to themselves that they can win with the team they currently have, but there will be no coasting and nothing but a mammoth effort will get the job done.  We’ll see tonight if the Rangers got the message.

The other big news from Wednesday night’s game is that the Rangers were saddled with three new injuries.  An MRI was negative on Artem Anisimov’s ankle, so he should be good to go.  Likewise, Michal Rozsival’s hyper extended left knee won’t keep him out of the lineup.  But enforcer Derek Boogaard was cut during a fight with Shawn Thornton on Saturday and the wound is now infected.  Boogaard was unable to grip a stick yesterday and seems unlikely to play tonight.

The Rangers called up Evgeny Grachev from Hartford and he’ll play tonight.  Grachev was called up a couple times last season but has yet to play in an NHL game.  He struggled during the preseason with the Rangers and is off to a slow start with Hartford, with only one goal and one assist in nine games.  He had 12 goals and 16 assists in 80 games last season.  The Russian winger has been slow to adapt to the professional game after bursting onto the scene in the OHL in 2008, but he remains a big part of the Rangers’ future.  Grachev is unlikely to get more than a few minutes of ice time tonight and likely be returned to Hartford by the end of the weekend.

The Rangers undoubtedly regret sending Tim Kennedy to Hartford as he would be the obvious choice for a fill-in.  But they don’t have the option of bringing him up now, as he’d have to clear re-entry waivers where he’d certainly be claimed and the Rangers would have to pay half his salary (like what happened with Sean Avery). 

If you’ve paid any attention to the NHL over the last decade, you know that the Carolina Hurricanes are due for a big year and a playoff berth after missing the postseason last year.  The Hurricanes’ alternating pattern of up and down years is truly remarkable, but this is a very different roster than we’re used to seeing.  Gone are mainstays Rod Brind’Amour and Ray Whitney and a host of other veterans that were staples of the Hurricanes roster over the last several years.  They still have Eric Staal who makes the team go, but after him it’s a relatively unknown team.  Jussi Jokinen and Chad LaRose contribute offensively, and rookie Jeff Skinner has been impressive, but the Hurricanes do have trouble scoring.  The always-tough Cam Ward is likely to start in net for Carolina, and he’s off to a good start this season.  Carolina is young up front, but on the blue line they have a group of versatile, albeit recycled, defensemen.  Carolina has been weak on special teams, an area the Rangers will need to exploit.

All eyes will be on Evgeny Grachev tonight, but he’s not likely to have much of an impact on the game.  The Rangers looked to be handling their depth situation very well in lieu of their injuries until Wednesday, and now they appear to be pretty thin.  There’s no reason the Rangers can’t win this game at home against a fairly evenly matched team, but they’ll have to outwork the Hurricanes and figure out a way to beat Ward.

Posted by Kevin Baumer | October 29, 2010 at 01:24 pm

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New York Rangers VS Chicago Blackhawks
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

  1 2 3 OT F
Rangers 3 0 0 - 3
Blackhawks 1 1 0 - 2

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