- The injury riddled Pittsburgh Penguins (5-3-1) are 1.5-goal favorites going into Monday’s road game against the New York Rangers (2-4-2).
- NBC Sports Network will broadcast the game on February 1, 2021 at 7 PM ET
- See the game odds, spreads, picks, plus a preview below
The New York Rangers are struggling mightily and their relationship with their talented but problematic defenseman Tony DeAngelo might be over
The Rangers place DeAngelo and his $4.8 million-per-season contract on waivers Sunday, signalling that they have lost patience with his antics. The slick puck-moving defenseman has a reputation for being opinionated, not easy to coach, sometimes unpopular with teammates and often a defensive liability. He was on the ice for four goals in the Rangers’ 5-4 OT loss to the Penguins Saturday.
Quinn on DeAngelo when asked by @ColinSNewsday about an incident last night: “There’s always rumors, I’m not gonna address rumors. This isn’t about one incident. It’s not about one thing.”
— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) January 31, 2021
DeAngelo had 15 goals and 53 points in 63 games last season, but it is not a given that he will be claimed on waivers. The Rangers looked at trading him in the offseason, but had no takers. His slow start (1 assist in six games) has contributed to the Rangers’ inefficiency.
Rangers are giving up too many goals and are poor in penalty killing. That’s why they will be 1.5-goal underdogs when play the Penguins again on February 1.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs New York Rangers Odds
|Pittsburgh Penguins||-108||-1.5 (+235)||O 6.5 (+105)|
|New York Rangers||-107||+1.5 (-295)||U 6.5 (-124)|
Odds taken Jan. 31 at DraftKings
Penguins Have Their Own Turmoil
Pittsburgh’s highly respected general manager Jim Rutherford resigned last week, adding some uncertainty to what the team’s game plan is for the rest of the season.
Rutherford, known as a master trader, was reportedly looking to acquire a defenseman to give his team more stability on the back end. Is that move on hold? Patrik Allvin is the interim general manager, and it’s unknown whether he will continue to look at trades.
Evgeni Malkin: “We have a great team. We have great players. We have a great organization. We need to look in the mirror and fight every shift. We need to play simple and we need to just work, work, work.”
— Pens Inside Scoop (@PensInsideScoop) January 29, 2021
The Penguins are expected to name a permanent GM in two to three weeks. Agent Pat Brisson, Rangers Assistant GM Chris Drury, former Sabres general manager Jason Botterill and Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin are some of the names being mentioned.
Dave Morehouse, the Penguins’ CEO, has said Rutherford’s departure won’t trigger a rebuild. The Penguins are trying to win now. They haven’t been sharp early, and Evgeni Malkin’s slow start and defensive lapses have played a major role in that.
Rangers Have Numerous Issues
At the end of last season, nothing could go wrong for the Rangers. They were one of the NHL’s most confident groups down the stretch. At the start of this season, not much has gone right for the Rangers.
The Rangers rank 21st in scoring (2.75 goals per game) and 19th in goals-against (3.00 per game). Their 14.7% power play also ranks 21st. Goalie Igor Shesterkin was supposed to be a Rookie of the Year candidate, but he owns an .894 save percentage. The team’s goalie system hasn’t worked at all: Alexander Georgiev shows a 3.27 goals-against average and .884 save percentage.
I just asked Mika Zibanejad if he feels that recovering from COVID has had any ill effects on his play. He gave a pretty straight (and unsurprising) answer:
— Vince Z. Mercogliano (@vzmercogliano) January 25, 2021
Penguins hurting on Defense
Pittsburgh’s defense is a medical mess. Brian Dumoulin and Marcus Pettersson are already on the sideline. Mike Matheson, Kris Letang left Saturday’s win against the Rangers, and his status for Monday is unknown. The Penguins’ depleted defense hasn’t been strong enough to deal with the loss of Letang.
The Rangers have lost forward Filip Chytil (upper body) just at a time when he was starting to play well.
Idk anything more about Letang , yet. But if he can’t go tomorrow, the D could be some combo of…
21 yr old rookie – sophomore slumper
7th-best D man on off side – analytics community punching bag
2nd NHL game in 7 years – drove 16 hours in snowstorm to get here
— Mike DeFabo (@MikeDeFabo) January 31, 2021
Time to Bet the Over
When the Rangers were playing impressively at the end of last season, DeAngelo played a major role. It’s difficult to know exactly how his departure might impact the Rangers. He wasn’t playing well, but when he is playing confidently, he is dynamic. If he is not claimed, the Rangers could move him to the AHL or taxi squad. But the Rangers probably believe the team will play tighter defense if he is not around. That would be beneficial to their young goalies. Until we figure out what the waivers mean, might be wise to play the Over. The Penguins can still score, and they give up goals.
Pick: Over 6.5 (+105)