Happy Festivus Eve! Get the pole out of the crawlspace.
Mercifully, this nine-game homestand is winding down, with tonight’s game against the Wildebeests and tomorrow’s Festivus contest against the Maple Leaves.
Then the Rangers go on the road for five straight … in other words, they will play at places where they might have a shot at winning.
They are 1-4-2 on the homestand to date, winning none in regulation or OT; and 2-8-2 in the last 12 at the renovated MSG. The Wilds have lost three of their last five.
Cam Talbot starts in place of Henrik Lundqvist, his first start since a Dec. 2 loss to Winnipeg and first appearance since relieving Lundqvist against Columbus Dec. 12. Taylor Pyatt is expected to be prucha’d.
The news today is that Marc Staal skated for the second day in a row, and said this concussion is nothing like his previous concussion; and that Dylan McIlrath is to undergo an MRI on a knee injury he suffered in Hartford, to his surgically repaired knee.
Look at the bright side: The last two losses have come against No. 1 goalies, not their backups, and Wilds No. 1 Nik Backstrom starts tonight.
Former Future Ranger Zach Parise returns to play against his former future team, and Mike Rupp comes back to the Garden for the first time since that franchise-altering deal that brought Darroll Powe and Nick Palmieri from Minnesota.
Don’t forget to vote for the Three Rangers Stars in the poll on the left.