Rangers’ dominant offensive run put to test against Connor McDavid and Oilers

McDavid Oilers face Rangers
Connor McDavid, right, celebrates his goal against the Calgary Flames with defenseman Cody Ceci in overtime in Game 5 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series Thursday, May 26, 2022, in Calgary, Alberta. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)
AP Photos

The New York Rangers are enjoying some of their best hockey of the season but it all comes to a head Friday night when they take on the best hockey player in the world. 

It’s taken Connor McDavid 55 games to reach the 99-point plateau. He’s well within the time frame to set career-highs in points, goals and assists and is almost a shoo-in for the Hart trophy at the end of the year. 

Even with a player as dominant as McDavid, Edminton sits at just the first wild card position as we hit the home stretch of the NHL season. McDavid’s stardom, along with Leon Draisaitl hasn’t been enough to put Edmonton in a spot to have home ice in the playoffs. 

But on Friday night, it will be the Rangers who have to play in Edmonton and try and find ways to solve the enormous problem that McDavid an his counterpart offer. New York has already failed to do so early in the year. 

During their early-struggles to start the 2022-23 season, the Rangers blew a 3-0 lead in the final period to fall 4-3 in regulation with Draisaitl netting the game-winner on a powerplay. It was a shocking collapse that put New York in a vulnerable position nearing the end of November. 

Things have changed though. The Rangers have gone 22-5-4 since the end of November and their offense is a big reason why. The acquisition of Vladimir Tarasenko has unleashed offensive prowess from Artemi Panarin, the kids and several other key role players. In their last six games alone, New York is tied for second in points per game, third in points against per game, and first in points percentage. 

The offense is setting records that haven’t been broken by a Rangers team in decades while the defense and goaltending is doing just enough to continue their winning streak. 

Aginst two of the most skilled players on the planet, New York will need all the offensive firepower they can muster. While the Rangers have been excellent on the road throughout the last couple of years under Gerard Gallant, they’ll need to find a way to slow down the Oilers’ high powered attack. 

It could be what separates them from continuing their winning streak. 

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