The road trip begins tonight for Blueshirts

Less than two hours from now, the Rangers will drop the puck against the Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena in Vegas. The Knights defeated them 4-1 this past week in New York City. They took five of a possible six points by beating the Devils and losing to the Islanders in extras.

The Knights are tough. They can score goals, defend and get solid goaltending. Usually, it’s from Marc-Andre Fleury. He lost his father recently. So, it’s been Malcolm Subban doing the job for them.

I won’t be around for the first of the four game Western swing with stops at the Kings, Sharks and Coyotes. What I’ll say is that you never know what you’ll get from David Quinn’s team. It’s possible they could win tonight against the better opponent and lose to the Kings, who fire a ton of shots each game, but don’t have too much success. I think a split is realistic.

I don’t even know who’s starting in net. No updates yet. Will it be Henrik Lundqvist, who probably would love a chance to bounce back from his cruddy start in the home defeat to Vegas? Or does Quinn continue to play the hot hand in Alexandar Georgiev, who wasn’t to blame for the 2-1 hard luck loss to the Habs. The winner came from Nate Thompson with 67 seconds left on a strange play. Ryan Lindgren made a mistake with a stretch pass right into the teeth of the Montreal trap to fuel the transition.

Does Pavel Buchnevich snap out of it later, or is he just a lost cause who should be moved? What about Kaapo Kakko, who’s play has been inconsistent? He gets another chance with Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin? Does that spark him?

These questions and more will get answered. It’s my birthday. So, I’ll be out having a nice Japanese dinner. I’ll recap it at some point.

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of Hudson administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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