The Rangers resume their NHL regular season on Thursday night against the Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago is currently third in the NHL’s Western Conference with 84 points, a total that would see them atop the Eastern Conference. Gold medalist Rick Nash will be pitted against his Canadian teammates Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Duncan Keith and reunited with Henrik Lundqvist who he opposed in the gold medal game.
After the failure of the American Men’s hockey team to medal the NHL game will be a welcomed sight for hockey fans around here (unless your favorite team lost their best player for the remainder of the season in Sochi, but that’s another story). The Rangers are right in the thick of the playoff hunt in the East, sitting sixth, but only four points from the ninth place Columbus Blue Jackets. They have to pick up where they left off before the break, winning 7 of their last 10 before the Sochi Games.
The Rangers were dealt a blow during the Olympic tournament when leading scorer Mats Zuccarello was injured, but the Blueshirts should be able to handle business without him for a little while until he returns. Lundqvist was terrific during the Olympics and they should hope that he can keep up that form.
I’m excited to watch the remainder of the NHL season and the tilt between the Blackhawks and the Rangers this should be a good way to kick it off.