Just a day after Mike Yeo ended Keith Yandle’s Ironman streak before facing the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Philadelphia Flyers will now travel to “the city that never sleeps”, where they will face their divisional rivals , the New York Rangers.
Philadelphia saw a much-needed, but simultaneously tasteless, roster change when Yandle was benched in favor of the debut of Ronnie Attard, a 6’3″, 208-pound defenseman the Flyers drafted in the third round in 2019. While the timing of the streak’s end was in bad taste, there’s no doubt that Yandle’s play would have had him knocked out before achieving the Ironman feat if the Flyers hadn’t battled injuries and had been forced to play with a team comprised mostly of AHL talent.
Still, that embittered many Flyers fans ahead of yesterday’s game in Toronto and surely won’t quell the complaints until they get a taste of Ronnie Attard and whether they like him or not.
Nate Thompson also returned to the Philadelphia roster after being sidelined in the first quarter of the season due to injury. The 37-year-old will likely hold a bottom-six spot for the rest of the season, despite one point in his 19 games played this year and a -8 in the +/- column. Thompson was originally scheduled to take Hayden Hodgson’s place in the lineup before it was announced that Travis Konecny (illness) would be forced to miss the game in Toronto.
The roster will be very different since Nick Seeler and Zack MacEwen were injured in the loss to the Leafs.
New York Rangers
Record: 44-20-5 (93 pts, 2nd in Metro)
The New York Rangers have had a tear this season, which put them just a few points behind the Carolina Hurricanes for first place in the Metropolitan Division. The whole team was electric compared to previous years, but four skaters exceeded expectations and helped Rangers have the kind of season they’ve had. Artemi Panarin leads the team with 80 points, followed by Mika Zibanejad with 70 points.
Star defender and reigning Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox also set out to prove he could deserve the Norris again this year. Fox has 66 points in 66 appearances, which ranks him third in scoring among all NHL defensemen, behind only Roman Josi and Cale Makar.
Finally, veteran forward Chris Kreider put the puck so hard in the net that he’s about to make Rangers history. Kreider, with 46 goals this season so far, is just eight points away from tying franchise legend Jaromir Jagr for most goals scored in a season in Rangers history. He currently holds seventh place for most goals scored in a season.
Vezina Trophy favorite Igor Shesterkin should also be credited in large part for the team’s success this year. Shesterkin is 32-10-3 in 45 appearances this year, a 2.13 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage. The Rangers goalkeeper could also find himself in contention for the Hart Trophy, which he has certainly earned the right to be in the conversation about. Rangers wouldn’t be in the position they are in now without Shesterkin and the Rangers defense playing in front of him.
Panarin – Copp – Hunting
Lindgren – Fox
When, where and how to watch
Time: 7:00 PM EST
Or: Madison Square Garden
TV broadcast: NBCSP
A radio show: 93.3WMMR
Direct: Fubo TV
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