Monday, November 30, 2009

Rangers look to Stop Sid and End Skid

10th place?
We're in 10th place in the Eastern Conference? But we have all those Gaborik goals. And all those defenseman goals. And all the great play from New Rangers. How can we possibly be doing worse than we were last year?
It can't be the player moves. We got rid of Zherdev and Antropov and got Gabs and Prospal. We dumped Mara and Morris - but Del Zotto and Gilroy are playing great. (Well, on Saturday Del Zotto was a surprising and terrible -5, but in general – he's been great)

So what's the problem?
I really can't figure it out. We should be playing better. We should be winning more.

But we're not. And all we can do at this point is focus on the next game and go from there.

Who The Hell Are We Playing? It's a rematch against our last Who-The-Hell-Are-We-Playing opponent, the NHL champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Pittsburgh is tied with the Washington caps atop the NHL East with a 18-9-0 record. We've lost twice to the Penguins this year – in the very first and the very latest games of the year. Pittsburgh will be without Matt Cooke this time – the league correctly suspended Cooke for his hit to the head of Artem Anisimov – for two games.

Primary Skaters: You know this. Sid and Evgeni. Sid's got 15 goals now – thanks to his last opponent (The New York Rangers) who let up a hat trick. Malkin has 8 goals and 17 assists.

In Net: You know this too. Marc-Andre Fleury has that fancy hyphen in his first name. So his name is just a little fancier than yours or mine. It sounds juts a little more sophisticated to say his name – for example - “pass me the salt Marc-Andre”, or “Little Marc-Andre has thrown up on his school desk again.”

Scoring & Defense: The Penguins score 3.22 goals a game, better than our 3 goals per. And the Penguins let up 2.78 scores a game, while we are allowing 3.04. So they dominate at both ends.

Special Effects: Powerplay: Pittsburgh 14.7%, Rangers 21.2%. Somehow this is advantage Rangers. Penalty Kill: Pittsburgh 84.2%, Rangers 83.2%, so that one is close but the Penguins are better.

Scheduling Conflicts:
Nothing to see here. We played the Penguins and they played us on Saturday – so no sleep advantage.

Probable Lines: Not sure what Tortorella is thinking- but he seems to have tried a little Sean with Gabs and Prospal on Saturday. I would like to see Avery get a real shot on the first line. Beyond that – especially with Lisin having been benched – I don't know what Tortorella will do.

On Defense: Still no Redden and still Bobby Sanguinetti in his place. Rangers are 0-2 without Wade (I know, but it's true).

Dave Puck Predicts: We're tumbling off the playoff face of the earth right now. We need a win to restore our confidence and to halt this two game losing streak. We've got two things going for us tonight that we didn't have Saturday: Lundqvist and home ice. We're also mad as hell. Will that be enough to propel us to a win? I sure hope so. I'm saying a 4-3 win. In OT.

No comments:

Post a Comment