Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Can We Do It Again?

Yes I know - we just had this great win and all's right in Ranger-ville at the moment - but, see, there's still this little Voice Of Doom (VOD) inside my head today. Usually my personal voice of doom stays off of sports and just keeps a running commentary of all my catastrophic life-decisions. But today The Voice is talking Rangers hockey.

And what that voice is saying is: we ran into two uniquely bad goalies last night: "Stank" (Mason) and "Stanky-er" (Garon). And that against an average goaltender having an average night we could well have lost Monday's game.

But forget the Voice Of Doom. In fact - let's start this whole post all over again. Okay - places everybody - roll tape - Blueshirt Brothers Take Two:

Can We Do It Again?

Wow - coming off a thrilling seven goal outburst, our New York Rangers ride their mighty one game winning streak into Florida tonight to take on a team they haven't faced since - well since Saturday night.

As one game winning streaks go - this is a pretty good one. It had a little something for everyone:

-Gaborik Scoring (2 goals)
-Non-Gaborik-al scoring (5 goals)
-Two Exciting fights featuring Voros and Punch-Man!
-Goals from Rookies
-Goals from Defensemen
- and even Goals from Rookie Defensemen!
-And best of all - two thirds of a hat trick - a Double G from Mr. SEAN AVERY who is suddenly looking like that player we all love and miss so much. I can't express how good it is to have our Seanny back - even if it's just for one game.

The key thing though, is to build this game into a trend rather than an aberration (editor's translation: Dave Pucks means "let's keep the win streak going")

I could say more - but I don't want to wake the VOD. So - on with the Game Preview:

Who the Hell are we playing? Like I said - we just saw Florida on Saturday - when they were the rudest sort of house guests - beating us on our home ice 3-2 after we had taken a 1-0 lead.

The Panthers have been somewhat hot as of late - beating Buffalo, Detroit and then us before falling to the world Champion Penguins in overtime.

Florida sits at 10-9-3, with 23 points to the Rangers 25 and a game at hand. They’re in 13th place right now in the East – but if they win tonight they'll pass us.

Primary Skaters: I think you might still remember from last time. The Centers-Named-Steve lead the team in goals: Reinprecht has 10 and Weiss has 7. Another Center - Nathan Horton - also has 7 goals – and leads the team in assists with 12.

In Net: Usually it is Tomas Vokoun who has a 2.72 GAA and a .923 Save Percentage in 18 games.

And for us? Do we rest our exhausted King? What do you think? Happy Thanksgiving Henrik - here's another consecutive start for you. In 20 games Hank has a 2.64 GAA and a .913 save percentage

Scoring & Defense: Our 7 goal explosion Monday pushes our average to 3.13 per game. Florida only average 2.62. Our goals against has been steadily climbing and now stands at 2.83, better than the Panther’s 3.23.

Special Effects: Our PP is 10th best at 22.2%, the Panthers are 29th at 13.3%. And on the PK we’re 3rd best at 84.8% while Florida is dead last at 73.8%. It wasn’t a factor last time – we need to make it one this time.

Scheduling Conflicts: We're coming off the big win Monday and we're in the middle of a 5 game in 8 day marathon. Florida also played Monday – and before that on Saturday we played each other. So we’re about equally tired.

Probable Lines: Well, after scoring a touchdown last time out - Tweaking Tortorella might actually leave his lines alone for one game! On the other hand - there's late word that Captain Chris Drury may rejoin us tonight - for limited action anyway - giving us all a little something to be thankful for. On the downside – “Cannon” Kotalik is hurt and will probably sit.

Line 1: GOAL-borik (that took me long enough to come up with) - and Live Long and Prospal - and the formerly suicidal Chis Higgins will be out top line. Worked last time so we try it again.

Line 2: Callahan and Lisin and Not Kotalik who is hurt. Doe Drury drop in here or does someome move up from 3?

Line 3: Avery and Anisimov and Parenteau – unless we move one up to line 2. Seanny on the rise – what do you say people?

Line 4: "Punch-man" Brashear-Voros-and BB (Brian Boyle). Coming off a 2 fight game on Monday…

On Defense: you know - overpaid stooges on the way out stapled at the hip to underpaid young studs on the way up. That's our system. And then there’s the none-of-the-above: Staal and Giradri.

Dave Puck Predicts: Can we win two in a row - a feat we haven't come close to since the 7th game of the year? Well, voice-of-doom in my head aside, hope springs eternal or something like that.

So I say - with BlueShirt Brothers pride - that the Rangers win 4-3 in a shoot out. And my second prediction - my son Little Pucks get the drumstick and wins his first-ever wishbone pull tomorrow.

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