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Posts Tagged ‘Game Preview’

The Rangers are home tonight to face the Washington Capitals.  The puck drops at 7pm and airs locally on MSG, or Game Channel 5 if you have Center Ice.  Or you could just hit yourself in the face with a frying pan.  Same effect.

Mother of God.

Your 2008-2009 New York Rangers.

Your 2008-2009 New York Rangers.

 

I hate this team right now.  So much.  So very, very much.  This is bullshit.  This team has quit on themselves.  I don’t care how much bullshit they spew about having to get their confidence back and we played strong but they got goals and it’s hard to come back and blah blah blah.  No.  To hell with that.  This was a first place team at the beginning of the season, and at that time, they actually looked like it.  This is a team that should still be in first place.  Instead they’re a handful of losses away from not making the playoffs.  Now they look like frozen shit on ice skates.  No, not frozen.  Make that steaming elephant shit rolled in 100 dollar bills.  Yes, 100 dollar bills – just to remind how how much these schmucks are getting paid to not do a goddamn thing they’re supposed to.  And I hope Hank enjoyed the All Star Game, because it’s his last one.  Granted, he can’t do anything about the guys in front of him not putting the puck in the damn net, but still – no more ASG for you, Henrik.

Anyway, sorry – this is the Game Preview post, not the Angry Tirade post.  Basically, the Rangers are facing the Capitals tonight.  More specifically, Alex Ovechkin is at the Garden to further embarrass these dogs we so loyally follow.  I bet all of you all the money in my bank account that Ovechkin, by himself, will outscore the Rangers.  And look awesome doing it.  The only reason I’m even considering watching this game is to watch Ovechkin.   And to hear the “Fire Renney”/”Fire Sather”/”We Want Prucha”/”Bring Back Avery”/”Earn Your Paycheck” chants at the Garden.  I’m seriously hoping for some “Earn Your Paycheck”s.  Hence the name of this game preview. 🙂

I’m sure Renney the Rodent has come up with some ridiculously stupid and ineffective line combinations for tonight, and I’m not even bothering looking them up.  Fifty bucks says Lundqvist is centering the second line with Voros and my Uncle Steve.  

Prucha’s a healthy scratch, because clearly he is the Anti-Christ and must be punished.

Screw the numbers breakdown.  This team sucks, and Washington doesn’t.  That’s all you need to know.

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The Rangers are on the road to take on the New Jersey Devils tonight at MSG West the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.  The puck drops at 7 pm and can be seen nationally on Versus and TSN.

 

Hey y’all!  I know we’ve been terrible about updating for the last week or so, and we’re very very sorry, please don’t hate us.  Our poor little hearts can’t take it.  We promise to be better, jsut please don’t leave me for that  hot chick with the tongue ring us for another blog!

So the last time we saw our Rangers, they were shitting the bed and rolling around in it in Dallas, losing 10-2 to the Stars.  It was the first time the Rangers have given up 10 goals since April 9th, 1993 against Pittsburgh, and the Stars haven’t scored 10 goals in one game the entire time they have been in Dallas.  Terrific!

This is all Nastia Liukin's fault.  Bitch.

This is all Nastia Liukin's fault. Bitch.

 

To be entirely honest, I have quite possibly the lowest expectations for this team going into this game that I’ve had since before the lockout.  The die-hard fan in me wants to have faith and really believe they can pull it out and grind out a win, but good lord in heaven have they looked terrible the entire month of February.  So I’m not sure, let’s just hope it’s not a complete embarrassment.  We all know how I feel about the Devils.

I think we can say that we must never, ever vote Henrik into the All-Star Game.  Ever.  Clearly the dude needs a vacation at the mid-way point of the season, and this year he didn’t get it and it shows.  Hopefully the couple days off he got with the flu made up for it and he’ll be back in Kingly form tonight.  Hopefully.  Plus I think my t-shirt is cursed.  I ordered it and Hank played like hell in the ASG.  Now every time I sleep in it/wear it to the gym they lose.  And lose horribly.  Balls.  I like that shirt, too.

 Anyway, tonight’s really a toss up.  The Rangers are coming off of 4 straight losses, the Devils are coming off of two straight after being on a hot streak for a long time.  The Rangers could rebound with an awesome game and remind us why we all endure the misery of being a Ranger fan, because it will eventually pay off with glorious victory, or they will once again get embarrassed in spectacular fashion, and we can all storm MSG with torches and pitchforks.  Sound fun?  I think so.

 

In other(ish) news: Tonight is the first time the Rangers will be facing Brendan Shanahan, a former Ranger

Shanny. Shan-Shan. Shan-dog. Shan-diggity-dog.

Shanny. Shan-Shan. Shan-dog. Shan-diggity-dog.

 who Glen Sather let twist in the wind for the entire summer, preseason, and the better part of this season.  I loved Shanny, always did.  I was sad to see him go.  If the Rangers lose tonight, I hope it’s Shanny who scores the game-winner.  Yeah, I said it.

UPDATE: Courtesy of Steve Zipay, tonight’s lines:

Naslund-Gomez-Drury
Callahan-Dubinsky-Zherdev
Dawes-Korpikoski-Sjostrom
Voros-Betts-Orr

Henrik Lundqvist will be back in net after missing the last game against Dallas with the flu.

 

Numbers breakdown:

Devils record: 33-17-3   –   8-2-0  in their last 10  –  15-10-1 at home

Rangers record: 29-19-5   –  5-4-1  in their last 10  –  13-11-2 on the road

Average goals scored in a game:

Devils: 3.04

Rangers: 2.40

Average goals allowed in a game:

Devils: 2.49

Rangers: 2.70

Power Play

Devils: 18.6%

Rangers: 14.9%

Penalty Kill:

Devils: 82%

Rangers: 86.6%

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The Rangers are on the rood in Pittsburgh tonight playing the Penguins in Mellon Arena.  Game time is 7:30pm, and the game can be seen MSG + (NOTE THE CHANNEL CHANGE AND THE CHANGED START TIME!), or if you have the Center Ice Package, Game Channel 3 for the Pittsburgh feed in HD, and Game Channel 4 for the MSG + non-HD feed.

 

Stevie V stood tall for the Rangers last night, and should have been one of the night's 3 stars.  But that's just my opinion.

Stevie V stood tall for the Rangers last night, and should have been one of the night's 3 stars. But that's just my opinion.

 

 

Ok people, my day has been crazy and it’s not over yet, so I have to make this quick.  Basically, the Rangers won their last game, Pittsburgh hasn’t played since before the All Star Break, and that was a loss to Carolina.  The last two times these teams have faced each other, the results were 4-0 Rangers, and 3-0 Penguins.  So we’ll see what tonight brings.

Henrik Lundqvist will be in net for the Rangers, and Sidney Crosby is most likely playing tonight, even though he was rumored to be sitting it out with a busted knee.  Also, Dan Fristche had cleared waivers and is currently in Hartford.

 

 

 

 

Numbers breakdown:

Penguins record: 23-21-4   –   4-6-0  in their last 10  –  11-11-2 at home

Rangers record: 29-16-4   –  7-3-0  in their last 10  –  13-8-2 on the road

Average goals scored in a game:

Penguins: 2.94

Rangers: 2.49

Average goals allowed in a game:

Penguins: 2.98

Rangers: 2.55

Power Play

Penguins: 16.7%

Rangers: 15.1%

Penalty Kill:

Penguins: 79.5%

Rangers: 87.9%

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The Rangers are at home tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes.  The puck drops at 7pm and can be seen locally on MSG.  I forgot to set my DVR before I left for class this morning, so I can’t tell you what Center Ice channel it’s on.  My bad.

UPDATE: It’s on Game Channel 3 on the Center Ice package. Woo!

So, at last, the greatest celebration of the greatest team that ever played in the greatest city that ever existed All-Star Game is over.  We don’t have to hear about it anymore.  Don’t get me wrong, it was fun, and I know you all read and thoroughly enjoyed my coverage of the weekend(shameless plugshameless plug).  Right?  Say yes.  Say yes, dammit!  But I’m glad I don’t have to hear about it anymore.  Hank played pretty badly – for him anyway – but who cares?  It’s the All-Star Game!  He could have laid down in the crease and taken a nap and it wouldn’t have mattered.

Yup.

Yup.

Anyway, now we can get back to the regular season, and, more specifically, the push for the playoffs.  The Rangers currently sit 5th in the Eastern Conference with 60 points, 13 points behind conference leader Boston.  So at the moment, they’re making the playoffs, but don’t have home-ice advantage.  That may very well change in the coming months, we’ll see if it’s for the better or the worse.

The Rangers won their last three games going into the All-Star Break, and should be good and well-rested and ready to go on tear heading down the stretch.

The Hurricanes have been a bit streaky lately – they won their last two games before the break, but lost five straight before that.  So, we’ll see what tonight brings.

Prucha and Korpikoski are still in the lineup, and Aaron Voros and Dan Fritsche will most likely be healthy scratches.  Steve Valliquette will be in net for the Rangers, and Cam Ward will most likely be between the pipes for Carolina.

UPDATE: I lied, Prucha out, Voros in.

Photo credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Numbers breakdown:

Canes record: 23-20-5   –   5-5-0  in their last 10  –  11-10-4 on the road

Rangers record: 28-16-4   –  6-3-1  in their last 10  –  15-8-2 at home

Average goals scored in a game:

Canes: 2.50

Rangers: 2.48

Average goals allowed in a game:

Canes: 2.90

Rangers: 2.56

Power Play

Canes: 15.8%

Rangers: 15.2%

Penalty Kill:

Canes: 78.1%

Rangers: 87.6%

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The Rangers are away against the New York Islanders tonight – The puck drops at 7:00pm, and the game can be seen locally on MSG.

I’m gonna have to keep this clean, since I have been warned already (see my last postgame for the Islanders).  But, I will forge on, loyal 5-Holers.

Regina DiPietro will be watching from home.

Rick DiPietro will be watching from home.

 

I hate the Islanders.  I take that back – the Islanders piss me off.  They annoy me.  They’re like a pimple on my ass that keeps coming back.  They’re not really a threat, because they’re horrible – but they’re annoying as all hell.

That being said, the Rangers seem to be coming to the upswing of the regular mid-season slump.  Let’s hope I’m right about that.  I think I said that before the Montreal game, too.  But they’re not playing Montreal tonight, they’re playing the worst mother-effing team in the NHL.

Henrik Lundqvist will be back in net tonight.  In the last week, he’s had his first 2 shutouts of the season, which are the 18th and 19th of his NHL career, and also gave up 5 goals against Montreal – the first two of which were 90% his fault.  And I’m never one to blame Henrik for a goal.  Hopefully tonight will be more of what we saw from him in the games against Pittsburgh and Ottawa, not Montreal.

Joey MacDonald will be in net for the Islanders.  Rick DiPietro’s knee is giving him trouble again, which I can only guess was caused by him forgetting to wear kneepads. 😉

Numbers breakdown:

Islanders record: 12-26-4   –   2-7-1  in their last 10  –  7-9-2 at home

Rangers record: 25-15-4   –  4-4-2  in their last 10  –  11-7-2 on the road

Average goals scored in a game:

Islanders: 2.55

Rangers: 2.50

Average goals allowed in a game:

Islanders: 3.62

Rangers: 2.61

Power Play

Islanders: 17.9%

Rangers: 14%

Penalty Kill:

Islanders: 82.4%

Rangers: 87.7%

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Holy Christ, am I scared for this game.

Clearly, Henke feels the same way I do about this game.

Clearly, Henke feels the same way I do about this game.

Yes, the Rangers have won the last two games on their California road trip, and yes, one of them was in regulation(holy crap!).  But neither win was particularly spectacular, neither win really gives me any confidence that tonight is going to be anything less than horrible.

In case you live under a rock, the San Jose Sharks have been kicking ass and not bothering to take names all over the league for basically the entire season.  They’re first in the league, first in the Western Conference, and boast a record of 25-4-3.  That’s right, three months into the season, and they’ve lost only 7 times.

The Rangers, on the other hand, barely just squeaked out a win against the Los Angeles freakin’ Kings.  Yes, the Rangers are second in the Eastern Conference, but that’s mostly due to a strong early start, and being several games ahead of everyone else.  They haven’t been able to sustain much momentum, and it’s starting to show.

There are two ways this game can go down:  either the Sharks are tired from traveling to Colombus, then to Detroit, then back to San Jose, and are feeling beaten down and dejected from losing their last two, including a blowout 6-0 loss to Detroit.  If this is the case, hopefully the Rangers and capitalize on their misery and come away with 2 more points.  The other way this can go is that the Sharks are comin’ back mad and looking to make a statement and spank someone on home ice to get their confidence back, in which case the Rangers are goin’ down in flames.  Something tells me the second scenario is much more likely.

My guess is that the Rangers lines will be similar, if not the same as the last two games.

What’s for sure is that Lundqvist will be in goal for the Rangers, and probably Evgeni Nabakov will be in goal for San Jose.  Also for sure: I will be drinking heavily during this game.

 

Numbers breakdown:

Sharks record: 25-4-3   –   7-1-2 in their last 10

Rangers record: 22-11-2   –   6-4-0 in their last 10

Average goals scored in a game:

Sharks: 3.44

Rangers: 2.46

Average goals allowed in a game:

Sharks: 2.44

Rangers: 2.57

Power Play

Sharks: 21.9%

Rangers: 14.9%

Penalty Kill:

Sharks: 85.8%

Rangers: 90.4%

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As I mentioned in my very first post, I hate the New Jersey Devils.  And I hate Martin Brodeur.  Now, don’t start thinking that I’m dancing with joy that he’s hurt – I’m not.  One of the first rules of fandom is Thou Shalt Not Gloat for Karma Beist a Bitch.  So I wish him a speedy recovery, and that’s that.

Ok, that being said – we play the Swamp Rats tonight at 7.  The game can be seen locally on MSG 2, and I, being the oh-so-lucky lady that I am, will be watching on the Center Ice package.  So that means that all of y’all get to suffer with me and watch the crappy Devils feed. Whee!

So far this season, the Rangers are 11-5-2, and the Devils are 7-5-2.  We’ve played 18 games whereas they’ve played 14.  But, the Rangers have lost 2 of their last 3, and Devils have only won 1 game since Fatass McGhee has been stuck at home watching highlight reels of himself and crying into a pillow.

Rangers Devils HockeySince the Rangers are going up against a backup goalie who rarely sees action, the logical thing to assume is that they will make him look superhuman.  Tonight won’t be easy, and the trick is going to be for the Rangers not to go into it thinking that it’s going to be easy to walk away with 2 points tonight.  I think they can do it, so here’s hoping I’m right.  One thing that the Rangers really need to count on, as they do every night, is that Henke is going to keep playing the way he has so far this season.  And against the Devils, he never disappoints.

Speaking of Rangers/Devils goaltending – here’s a fun snippet from Sam Weinman, Rangers beat writer and journalistic love of my life:

Kevin Weekes is taking full credit for carrying the Rangers to the playoffs. OK, not really, but here’s how he summarized his career in New York:

“You know what? I’m past that now,” he said. “When I was there we made the playoffs both years and that was a great experience just that in itself.”

Yes, it was all thanks to Weekes that the Rangers made the playoffs the first two years out of the lockout.  That rookie foreigner who took his job can’t stop a beach ball.  And they totally didn’t get swept in the last playoff series Weekes actually played in.  Not at all.

LET’S GO RANGERS!!

UPDATE: According to Sam Weinman, Scott Gomez’s leg is more than just a little bothersome pain – he will not play tonight against the Devils, and is now listed as Day-to-Day.  Crap on a cracker.

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