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Scott Blair The Hockey Writers

Published on Monday, March 22, 2021





Rangers News & Rumors: Zibanejad, Johnson, Hockey Fights Cancer & More

The New York Rangers continued their up and down season with a win against the Washington Capitals Saturday 3-1 and Mika Zibanejad scored the game-winner in game number 30 of 56. The Blueshirts lost to the Caps the night before 2-1, and the previous two games were a split with the Philadelphia Flyers. Jack Johnson had surgery Friday. The Rangers teamed up with Hockey Fights Cancer last Monday and will air Road to MSG after this Monday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres.

Mika’s Heating Up

Zibanejad scored six points in Wednesday’s 9-0 route of the Flyers and roofed a shot late in the third Saturday to make the score 2-1 before the Rangers added an empty netter close to the final buzzer.

Zibanejad’s teammates were pumped up after the game as their top center is starting to look like the Mika of old. He also assisted on Pavel Buchnevich’s opening goal at 17:49 of the first period. Can Zibanejad keep it going and salvage what has been a lackluster season? That remains to be seen but the past week was definitely a step in the right direction.

Jack Johnson Out for Season

Johnson had sports hernia surgery Friday. According to Darren Dreger, it was a successful one. Dreger also says Johnson is out until June or July and he’s expected to make a full recovery.

What that means for his future with the Rangers is unknown at the moment. We’ll probably have to wait until the offseason for that answer. He’ll become a UFA (Unrestricted Free Agent) when the season ends. His status as of now is on the taxi-squad which is for cap reasons. He’s only a $75,000 cap hit now. The 34-year-old defenseman had one point in 13 games and was minus-5 until his season-ending injury. According to Larry Brooks, (Rangers’ Jack Johnson will be out rest of season after undergoing core-muscle surgery – NY Post 3/21/21) Johnson will stay on the taxi squad for the remainder of the 2020-21 season.

Rangers and Hockey Fights Cancer

The Rangers and Hockey Fights Cancer will be auctioning off the autographed jerseys they wore in pregame warmups on March 15th against the Flyers. The auction is open until 9 pm EST, March 22. Along with the jerseys, the team is auctioning off a commemorative patch recognizing the special night. Proceeds will go to the American and Canadian Cancer Societies.

Here’s their official mission statement. Hockey Fights Cancer™ unites the hockey community in support of cancer patients and their families. Together, we look to inspire hope and courage for those who are living with, going through, and moving past cancer. Funds raised through this partnership support patient services such as the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge® and Road to Recovery® programs. since 1998 Hockey Fights Cancer has been able to give over $20 million to support cancer programs nationwide.

Road to MSG

Following Monday’s game against the Sabres, the Rangers will air Road To MSG. The show highlight’s the 2021 Secret® Dream Gap Tour showcase and the PWHPA’s (Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association) New Hampshire and Minnesota game which was played on Feb. 28 at MSG. The teams’ represented the Women’s Sports Foundation and Adidas respectively. New Hampshire won 4-3, however, they were outshot 35-22.

Brianna Decker, of New Hampshire, was the game’s First Star with two goals and two assists. Kendall Coyne Schofield of Minnesota was Second Star. She had a goal and an assist. As did New Hampshire’s Amanda Kessel, who was Third Star.

30 Games In

30 games in and the 2020-21 season has been pretty eventful, to say the least. Let’s hope Zibanejad’s troubles are over, and Johnson has a full recovery. Don’t forget to bid on a jersey for Hockey Fights Cancer, and tune in to see the Road to MSG Monday night.

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