Some keys in this game:
J.T. Miller & Michael Grabner: Per Newsday’s Steve Zipay, when prompted to disclose the secret to his unexpectedly successful season, Grabner said one word: “Miller.” Miller’s continued emergence as a burgeoning start playmaker has fueled a season where he leads the team in overall points and is a factor in almost every game. He has been remarkable and the thing about remarkable players, the real mark of talent and leadership is how they make the players around them better. Very obviously, Grabs is a J.T. fan and he’s not shy about it.
Look for them to connect any time they are on the ice together.
Complacency Kills: On Tuesday, the Rangers withstood an absolute barrage. They were steady throughout the game over a full 200’ length of ice, from drop to final horn.Even if they don’t see as many SOG tonight, a full 60-minute effort is needed. To sustain their efforts for a full 60 minutes and avoid getting complacent will win them most games. Stringing a few wins together on home ice can make for a dangerous comfort level. Nashville is a trap team that will capitalize if you underestimate them. Stay frosty, boys.
Henrik Lundqvist’s sight lines: TSN and NBC both went with the exact same preview for this game and it focused heavily on Lundqvist’s ability to see the puck. Fans have seen what feels like ‘a baker’s thousand’ of deflected shots go in this season off deflections…which unintentionally carom off their own players. Somewhere between being an effective shot-blocking unit and effectively screening their own goalie to the advantage of the opponent lay a middle ground where Lundqvist can hopefully feel comfortable seeing the puck and more importantly: stopping it.
Dan Girardi is a healthy scratch. His absence might have something to do with the rose petal he was sporting following Tuesday night’s game:
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) February 8, 2017
In their last ten matchups, the Rangers have fared well (6-4-0) against the Predators. Nashville has not beaten the Rangers at home since Dec 10, 2013.
Puck drops at 7:00PM ET and can be seen on MSG.