Rangers Look to Contain McDavid, Draisaitl as They Face the Oilers
The Rangers are finally winning! The Rangers have now won five in a row, and they will try to make it six against the Edmonton Oilers.
The Edmonton Oilers have had a disappointing start to their season. Last season, the Oilers finished with 103 points, one more than the Rangers, and lost to the Anaheim Ducks in the second round of the playoffs. The Oilers have a bright future, and were predicted by many to be serious contenders for the Stanley Cup.
The Edmonton Oilers have won their previous two games, beating the Islanders and the Devils.
Keys to a Rangers victory
Special Teams: The Rangers and the Oilers special teams are the exact antithesis of each other. The Rangers’ power-play has been on fire of late, cranking at 23.8%. The Rangers should look to expose the Oilers who rank dead last in the NHL on the penalty kill at 72%. The Oilers power-play has also struggled this season, ranked 28th in the NHL on the power-play at 13.3%. The Rangers have killed off their last twelve penalties over the course of five games.
Score goals: Every team has to score goals to win, Cam Talbot is a very solid goaltender, and scoring on him will not be easy. However, on average, the Oilers have scored the least amount of goals per game in the NHL at 2.33 (goals per game).
Watch #97 and #29: The Oilers offensive punch has been two-thirds of their top line of Conor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. With the Oilers struggling to find offense outside of these two on a nightly basis, the top defensive pair of Ryan McDonagh and Nick Holden will be busy this afternoon trying to contain them.
Rangers’ coach Alain Vigneault has announced that “Boo” Nieves will play this afternoon. He missed the last two games due to the flu.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) November 10, 2017
Brendan Smith will miss his fifth game overall, with reports being released about his lack of conditioning prior to training camp.
Following an injury to Anton Slepyshev, the Oilers have recalled forward Jesse Puljujärvi, who was drafted fourth overall in 2016 and will make his regular season debut against the Rangers.
Who to Watch For
On the Oilers side, let’s not be too shy on watching Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, a player that would probably make good on the Rangers down the middle, if he were to suddenly become available. Yet, he’s been at a point per game pace his past five games, with 5 points (2 goals, 3 assists). With the Oilers struggling offensively, any help this team can get, they will take and RNH is slowly heating up for the Oilers.
On the Rangers side, the player to watch is Nick Holden. After successfully holding the Nikita Kucherov/Steven Stamkos pair a week ago in Tampa, he now has the task of stopping both Draisaitl and McDavid, will not be a smiple task. Just ask the Devils how that went for them Thursday night (see above). Oh, and the Islanders Tuesday:
To say Holden and McDonagh will have their hands full, is a slight understatement.
Puck drop is at 1 PM EST and can be watched on MSG, MSG GO, SNW, and NHL.TV. Let’s go Rangers!
Scouting the Competition