Friday, October 2, 2009

It is time!

Just 3 hours until the puck drops on another Rangers season. And for a Yankee fan having to sit through a few more meaningless games until next wednesday, this is fantastic news. I can't wait to see the new, basically entirely new look Rangers that Glen Sather has once again put together. I am really pumped to watch as, aside from last season, they go through their annual "3-4 month, getting to know each other" period. I just hope that Torts doesn't revert to the knee jerk Renney, "change the lines every's good for offense" strategy.

Now on to the actual game. The Rangers head to pittsburgh....not only has it been a house of horrors the last 3 seasons, but it is also now home to the defending Stanley Cup Champions. Never a good thing. But, if you gotta play pittsburgh, a very skilled team, I wanna do it as early as possible, in the hopes that they are still drunk from their cup celebration. (Which might be possible, since, after all, it's only been a little more than 3 is ridiculous) Much like the last time we saw the Rangers, they are facing a team far more skilled, with two of the top 5 offensive forces in the game (Crosby, Malkin).

What to look for tonight: 1) To see how what sort of grit a rangers team anchored by a full season of avery and.....thug/borderline criminal Donald Brashear bring to the table. 2) To see what type of focus Torts has gotten into this rag tag collection of past their prime free agents, an elite injury prone goal scorer, and a group of unproven youngsters. 3) This is as close to a playoff game feel as the Rangers are going to have until April, let's see what Gaborik can do, and if he can perhaps win a game on his own?

The wizards at espn once again picked the Rangers to be in the bottom third of the league, at 22. Last year I believe they started somewhere around 18. It never ceases to amaze me. The top 16 or so are what you consider playoff teams. Since the lockout, only TWO eastern conference teams have made it every year, the Rangers, and the hockey team that plays in New Jersey. Now while we can't say for sure if the Rangers are better than last season, how can you possibly decide they are worse? And with one of the top 4 goalies in the game, a 8 seed should be the minimum expectation for this team. I'd have the Rangers somewhere around 14 right now, and let's see what they can do this opening week.

As for tonight's prediction: The penguins come out with all the energy, but Torts has the rangers prepared to counter punch every move. Thru two periods the rangers somehow hold a one goal advantage...and then the third. When the energy of the night should lift the Penguins to a heartbreaking come from behind, 4-2 victory on am empty netter's hoping I am not half as smart as I am.

In game blogging to come!

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