Rangers battle Colorado Tuesday with eye on Alexander Georgiev, Dryden Hunt return

Rangers battle colorado
New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) plays the puck against Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Nick Blankenburg (77) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)
AP Photos

The New York Rangers are reeling after a 3-1 start to the regular season. The Blueshirts have dropped three of their last four games with all losses coming against teams that were at or below .500. 

It doesn’t get any easier on Tuesday night. 

The defending Stanley Cup Champion, Colorado Avalanche enters Madison Square Garden for a primetime showdown against the Rangers. Colorado returns the majority of their championship team from last season with standouts like Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen all playing well to start the season. 

“They (Colorado) are going to be a big challenge no matter what time of year you’re playing those guys.” head coach Gerard Gallant said Monday. 

Columbus Blue Jackets left wing Gustav Nyquist (14) plays the puck against New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (23) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)AP Photos

Colorado’s main key to success has been its speed which has overwhelmed opponents for the last few seasons. To help bolster their overall depth and strength at key positions, the defending champs also took a few players from the New York Rangers.

Those same players are set to make a return tonight. 

Dryden Hunt was brought into the Rangers’ organization last season and helped be a key cog in the team’s run to the Eastern Conference Finals. He was placed on waivers just under a week ago to make cap room for potential flexibility at the trade deadline. 

Hunt was picked up on waivers by Colorado who were looking for quality fourth-line depth pieces. Hunt has not recorded a point in the two games he has played with the Avalanche but has playoff experience and is a very good fourth-liner. 

Hunt’s not the only player returning to the Garden on Tuesday though, and this one was in the works for a while. 

Alexander Georgiev was expected to be one of the players who would compete for the top goaltender spot after Henrik Lundqvist left. Igor Shesterkin, the reigning Vezina winner ended up taking the reigns and becoming one of the top goaltenders on the planet in four years at the NHL level. 

That unfortunately led to Georgiev requesting a trade last season before finally being dealt to Colorado during the offseason for multiple draft picks. According to reports, Georgiev will start tonight against his former teammates. 

The undrafted goaltender out of Bulgaria is 3-0-1 with a 2.76 GAA, and a save percentage of .907%. Igor Shesterkin’s numbers are almost identical to his former teammate with a 3-0-1 record, a 2.70 GAA, and a save percentage of .901%.

To knock off a dominant team like Colorado, the Rangers must get through playing a few former players from last season to end their recent stretch of poor play. 

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