Budding Rivalry Set to Blow as Columbus Visits Rangers at MSG
Thanks to this year’s divisional restructuring, a budding rivalry between teams that have swapped both star talent and supporting cast became a heated emotional battle for playoff position. And tonight we see the second of six games to be played between the Rangers and the Columbus Blue Jackets. Fueling the fire headed into tonight’s are emotions that Brandon Dubinsky plans to keep in check.
“You’ve got to channel those emotions the right way. It’s going to be a little different being on this side of the ice to start the game. I think after the first couple of shifts I’ll settle in.”
It will also mark the first time that Rick Nash has ever suited up against the Blue Jackets.
“A lot of emotions, I’ve seen a lot of familiar faces around rink this morning..but at end of day we’re in it for 2 points”-Rick Nash #NYR
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) December 12, 2013
In the race for 8th place (and a ticket to the playoffs) both Columbus and NY have disappointed so far, capturing only 29/62 and 31/64 possible points, respectively. Despite lukewarm numbers, the Rangers are only a single point behind the 8th place Hurricanes, and Columbus trails the Canes by only three points.
Over the past two years, the rangers have acquired Rick Nash, Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, and John Moore (as well as prospects Steven Delisle and Blake Parlett), while Columbus came away with Marion Gaborik, Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, and Tim Erixon. It’s worth noting that of those players, all except Gaborik were jettisoned by their first NHL team as part of the two blockbuster trades. That can lead to bruised pride, which is a great motivation to leave everything out on the ice.