The New York Rangers have won five National Hockey League games in a row and plenty of punters will fancy the hosts to continue their current run of form on Saturday evening. With 56 goals scored, the Rangers are one of the strongest attacking franchises in ice hockey and the Edmonton Oilers will have their work cut out to keep New York at bay. It could be a high scoring, entertaining game at Madison Square Garden.
Meanwhile, Edmonton also struggled for momentum in the early stages of the campaign but the Oilers appear to have found their best form. Back-to-back wins for the Canadian outfit has helped to get Edmonton back on track and another victory here would send out a real statement of intent; especially when you take New York’s recent form into account. Read up on our thoughts on this weekend’s big game below.
New York Rangers
7-2-1 with five wins in a row; not a bad run of results eh? Alain Vigneault’s side are on the verge of something special and it would take a brave man to back against them on current form. New York are heading in the right direction and 22-year-old Pavel Buchnevich can be their main man this season.
In years gone by, Rick Nash and Marian Gaborik have been the leading stars in the Big Apple but throwing Buchnevich into the mix should give the Rangers an added dimension in close encounters. Victory here would be another important step as New York look to cement their status as one of the NHL’s elite franchises for the 2017/18 campaign.
KEY MAN: Pavel Buchnevich. Let’s stick with Buchnevich for the time being. Since returning to the Rangers’ top line, the sophomore winger has flourished and he has managed to hold his own – a difficult task. With seven goals and seven assists in 15 games this year, he is now one of New York’s most consistent talents and he could play a key role here.
Don’t write the Oilers off just yet, they are starting to heat up and a thrilling encounter looks likely if the Canadian side bring their A-game. Edmonton, 22/1 with Bet365 for the Stanley Cup, are showing plenty of positive signs and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the franchise climb up the rankings in the Pacific Division.
Todd McLellan knows that his team is not without potential but channelling that talent and getting the balance between attack and defence right has been tricky. Once the Oilers find that balance, the Canadian giants may be set for a very successful NHL season. Watch this space, McLellan’s men are in this for the long run.
KEY MAN: Leon Draisaitl. We’ve gone with Conor McDavid in previous articles but Draisaitl could be the difference maker this time around. Edmonton are fortunate to have two of the best centermen in the National Hockey League at their disposal and both will be central to the Oilers at some stage later this season. Winning matches is the most important thing for now and Draisaitl and McDavid combined to lead Edmonton to victory in their latest contest against the New Jersey Devils.
A topsy-turvy clash is expected here. This one really could go either way but it is easy to see why New York head into this fixture as favourites with most bookmakers. The Rangers have been simply sublime for the most part of the last two weeks and more success could be on the cards this weekend. This one could end up being a thriller, you won’t want to miss it!
RANGERS 4-3 OILERS