Date/Time: October 16th, 8:00 p.m. ET
Television: NBC Sports Network
Moneyline: Washington -145
The New York Rangers have been playing terrible hockey over the course of the start of the season, but they are going to try to turn it around in their first game in the Eastern Time Zone of the year against the Washington Capitals.
The Rangers know that there will be better times ahead, and things really can’t get much worse than they started. This West Coast trip to start off the year was insane, and the team has still yet to find its way back to Madison Square Garden for the first time yet this season. New York has been beaten and beaten down by a number of teams of late, including losing 6-0 to the Anaheim Ducks and 9-2 to the San Jose Sharks in a span of just three days. The 5-3 loss at the hands of the St. Louis Blues four nights ago wasn’t much better. The roadie still has three games left to it, but at least the games are all back near the Empire State. D Michael Del Zotto is going to be out of the fold tonight, as are RW Rick Nash and LW Carl Hagelin. That said though, the pressure is going to be squarely on the back of G Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist has been terrible to start off this season, and we know that he is a lot better than he has shown us thus far.
Many forget that this Washington team was in the playoffs last year and took the Rangers to the wire in the postseason. The Caps definitely aren’t bad, though it will be interesting to see how they fare in these divisional games now that they are playing in the Metropolitan Division and not the Southeast Division against a bunch of lousy teams. A three-game skid was halted on Monday night when the team took down the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 at home, and it was amazing that that game was won with only 20 shots on goal. The hope is that G Braden Holtby can finally come up with a big game in this one, and that’s something that really hasn’t happened for Washington all year long. The stars are shining though, as LW Alexander Ovechkin already has nine points in five games. Of course, there have only been four goals scored that he had nothing to do with, and that’s not going to cut it either.
New York is probably the better of these two teams in the long run, and even with the absence of the three solid players from the Rangers’ roster tonight, we don’t think that it is going to make all that much of a difference. The Rangers are going to have used these four days off to get healthier mentally, and when that happens, they should revert back to one of the top teams in the crowded Eastern Conference.
New York Rangers @ Washington Capitals Pick: New York Rangers +135
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.