For Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers, the excuses have vanished
Jan 14, 2017; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) looks on during the warmup period before the game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Henrik Lundqvist officially back and Jeff Gorton inking Chris Nell are just two topics in this edition of New York Rangers Blueshirt Bytes.

It’s been rough in Rangerstown as of late. There’s no denying that.

A rough loss to the New York Islanders on Garden ice was the second sore in a back-to-back defeat courtesy of the New Jersey Devils the night prior.

New York Rangers

Fortunately, good news is on its way for the New York Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist is now officially back, as stated by Mike Murphy of Blueshirt Banter. Magnus Hellberg was officially assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack. Hank will play two of the three west coast contests, starting with Los Angeles on Saturday night.


Speaking of goaltenders, the Blueshirts signed college goaltender Chris Nell. Nell, 22, sported a .916 save percentage in 34 games at Bowling Green State University as a Junior.

ESNY’s Derek Radich discusses the potential Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award winners during this special season that saw the hero leave us. In fact, he asks Rangerstown who should be that very special recipient.

Justin Tasch of the New York Daily News dives into how the team’s woes have shifted from offense on the power play to defense on the penalty kill.

Steve Zipay of Newsday piles on with more evidence about just how horrid the penalty kill has been as of late. Captain Ryan McDonagh spoke about it as well:

“Bad bounces, it doesn’t matter. You’ve got to continue to work, try to take away those [shooting] lanes,” said Ryan McDonagh, who — along with Marc Staal and Jesper Fast — was on ice for each of the Islanders’ power-play goals. “Obviously, in front of the net, it seems to be where the puck’s going to end up. We talked about trying to collapse more with all four guys and making sure we don’t let them get second and third opportunities.’’

Josh Hartnett of CBS New York explains how Rick Nash is poised to help the Rangers during the Stanley Cup Playoffs when it matters most. And, of course, it’ll help if he continues to pull off ridiculously studly goals like the one he threw up against the Isles:

The Rangers will be off today before taking on the Kings on the west coast Saturday night.

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