Tonight, the Rangers look to get some revenge on the Candiens, who utterly embarassed the Rangers last time they met. It’s a tall order, as the Canadiens are red hot, going 6-1-1 in their last 8 games. This is a team that has been known to exploit the Rangers biggest weakness (that they have no idea what to do in the defensive zone under pressure), lighting up the Rangers for 12 goals in their last two meetings. Jaroslav Halak, who has been struggling lately, gets the start in net for the Habs. Beware the struggling goaltender. The Rangers tend to make them into Patrick Roy.
The Blueshirts, fresh off a big 4-0 win over a struggling Penguins team, need to play like they did in the third period on Monday. They also need to stay out of the box. If they take 8 penalties again, or play that lazy, inconsistent hockey we saw in the second period on Monday, then this will be another raping.
No line changes this game, Fritsche and the Korpedo are scratches again. You kind of have to feel bad for Fritsche, who’s played in 15 games all year, and hasn’t seen the ice since November, a span of 14 games (tonight makes 15).
I’ll be doing another in-game thread. Don’t forget, the game is at 7:30 tonight.
Update 7:44pm: Dear Hank, Stop handling the puck. Love, every single Ranger fan in existence. 1-0 Habs on a terrible giveaway by everyone’s favorite Swede.
Update 7:49pm: You know, Prucha looks a lot faster and stronger. The Prucha of old would have been knocked down on that hit.
Update 7:57pm: What a pass by Prucha. And a very nice save by Halak. Robbed Drury. Yea, this sounds like another Prucha love-fest, but seriously, he’s had a good first few shifts.
Update 8:02pm: Dawes got sandwiched by two guys twice his size and he STILL came out with the puck. He was invisible for for the first three months of the season, but he has seriously picked up his game lately.
Update 8:10pm: That’s what happen when you crash the net. Nice second effort by Drury,
and Prucha gets an assist. It didn’t look like Redden got a piece of that. Wade Redden got credit, but I really dont think he got it. Redden from Drury and Dawes for now. That should be changed.
Update 8:12pm: And that was a terrible play by Lundqvist, he has to put that into the corner, and then the flutter shot beats him on the rebound. 2-1 Canadiens.
Update 8:34pm: The Rangers seem to have taken the Montreal style of play to heart. They are beating the Habs at their own game right now. That game, of course, is forcing turnovers in the offensive zone, and not the hockey game being played.
Update 8:38pm: How did Ruutu only get two games for biting Peters? Seriously? That’s it? Ruutu is such a bitch.
Update 8:42pm: I like this new Ranger style of crashing the net. It’s about time they started looking for rebounds.
Update 8:45pm: I think Colton Orr cloned himself in the offseason, because he has been really good this year. And as I write this, Cally blasts one by Halak, and it started with great defensive play and great passing by Gomez, Mara, and Kalinin. Tie game.
Update 8:48pm: The Rangers have absolutely dominated the first half of this game. If they could bury rebounds this game would be a blowout.
Update 8:56pm: You know, Dan Girardi really disappeared from the scoring sheet after his torrid start. He had 3G, 13A through early November, and he has had 3A since then.
Update 9:00pm: This has been an incredibly fast paced game, and really fun to watch. The refs are letting them play and I like it.
Update 9:21pm: And a questionable call leads to a goal. Figures. I understand that if the stick is parallel to the ice its a hooking call, but you’re telling me the Canadiens haven’t done that at all this game? I don’t like the call.
It’s the rules, and it’s 3-2 Habs now.
Update 9:24pm: And another penalty, this time in the offensive zone. It’s a high stick, no complaints on that call.
Update 9:25pm: That’s a bad play by Gomez, you can’t hold the stick like that, it’s an obvious call. And it leads to a goal off the carom. 4-2.
Update 9:32pm: That was a hell of a play. Nice pass by Z, good job by Rosie to get open.
Update 9:38pm: That look on Dubinsky’s face just says it all. The kid can’t buy a goal.
Update 9:40pm: What a play by Dawes and Prucha, and what a save. This line of Drury/Dawes/Prucha has been really good.
Update 9:48pm: Wow. Lang just faked Staal right out of his skates. That was a hell of a move. If the Rangers want to come back, they need to bury some rebounds. 5-3 Habs.
Update 9:50pm: That was a weak call to give the Rangers a PP, i guess they are trying to make up for the weak call on Voros.
Update 9:55pm: And Hank is pulled giving the Rangers a 6 on 4. I like this move by Renney. It shows guts.
Update 9:56pm: And Lang puts it in the empty net, sealing it. The Rangers played well tonight, except for that 2:21 where they took 3 penalties and gave up 2 goals. It’s amazing what can happen in two minutes.