2021-12-08
New York Rangers
Chicago Blackhawks
League : NHL

Chicago Blackhawks vs New York Rangers Prediction & Preview



 

 

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

 

The New York Rangers face the Chicago Blackhawks with both teams off to two opposite starts to the season. The Rangers have won 16 of their 23 games while the Blackhawks have only won nine of their first 24 games to start the season. The Rangers are looking to jump into first place in the Metropolitan Division while the Blackhawks are looking to chase a playoff spot in the Western Conference and the upcoming game should be a good one as a result.

 

Rangers defense has been great this season

The Rangers are off to a great start to the season but hope the offense can step up, scoring only 2.91 goals per game. Chris Kreider and Artemi Panarin have combined for 23 goals and 22 assists to lead the top line but the rest of the forward unit has struggled. Only five forwards have five goals or more and opposing defenses can eliminate the top-heavy forward unit as a result.

The offense has struggled but the defense is one of the best in the NHL, allowing only 2.48 goals per game. Adam Fox and Ryan Lindgren have combined for 4.0 defensive point shares and 102 blocked shots while Jacob Trouba and K'Andre Miller have combined for 2.6 defensive point shares and 77 blocked shots to give the Rangers two great defensive pairings. In addition, goaltender Igor Shesterkin is having a great season with a .937 save percentage and a 2.05 goals-against average on 557 shots.

 

Blackhawks hope offense can step up

The Blackhawks are off to a rough start to the season with the offense struggling immensely, scoring only 2.13 goals per game. Alex DeBrincat, Brandon Hagel, and Patrick Kane have combined for 29 goals and 22 assists to lead the top line but the backend of the forward unit has looked awful this season. Only four skaters have four goals or more and opposing offenses can eliminate the later lines as a result.

The offense has let the Blackhawks down this season but the defense also hopes to step up as the unit is allowing 3.13 goals per game. Seth Jones and Erik Gustafsson have combined for 2.8 defensive point shares and 76 blocked shots but the backend of the defensive unit has struggled and is allowing opponents to find open shots on the net at will. The bright spot has been the play of goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury who has a .913 save percentage and a 2.82 goals-against average on 494 shots.







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