Penguins Game Day (Game 2: Rangers)
Next up for the Penguins is a trip to New York City to take on the Rangers, in what some believe could be a preview of the Conference Championship. The Pens are coming off of a sloppy yet meaningful win in Philadelphia yesterday, hopefully some of that intensity carries over to today. The Rangers are coming in to this game after losing to the Bruins just a day ago and will look to make a strong push so to not start 0-2.
Game time: 7:00 pm est
Place: Madison Square Garden
New York 0-1-0
Last season the Rangers were the beast from the East, winning the Conference in the Regular season and making it to the Conference Finals only to lose to the New Jersey Devils. With a 15-7-1 record against the Atlantic Division last year the only team that gave them real problems were the Pittsburgh Penguins, going 2-4 against the Guins. With adding Rick Nash to their Line up many believe that this team is better than last years, unfortunately the same problems are there this year that was there last year…… Coaching. Tortorella has the ability to lead teams to Championships, but with the team that has been built in New York it is very unlikely it will happen with him behind the bench. Nash, Gaborik, and Richards could easily make up one of the if not the best line in the NHL but due to Tortorella refusing to let them loose and do what they do best, he will reign them in and demand they play his game -Which is not, fun Hockey to watch.-
The Penguins came out Flying yesterday, scoring the first Two Goals (Kennedy, Neal) and Controlling the game in the first 20 minutes. Though the first period proved to be a showcase of sloppy plays it wasn’t until the second period when it was very obvious that the shortened training camp was affecting everyone on both sides of the puck. The Flyers did turn it on in the second and was able to score within the first 23 seconds of the period, but after that Fleury was a brick wall, occasionally showing off his best Dominik Hasek impression, he did everything the Pens needed him to do.
In today’s match up it appears Tomas Vokoun will get the nod in net for the Pens and most likely Lundqvist gets another shot tonight for the Rangers. Vokoun plays very well against the Blue shirts winning three of his last four starts against them, and putting up a 1.26 Goals Against average during that time.
Keep an eye out for changes in the Rangers game, after losing to the B’s last night (3-1) I think they are still trying to find themselves and how to properly use the weapons they have on Offense.
It appears Malkin and Neal picked up right where they left off, Crosby looked ready to go, yet the Flyers did a good job defending him. The biggest story out of yesterdays win against the Flyers besides the win is the play of Paul Martin, Martin was solid throughout the entire game and if he continues to play as he did we will see that Shero made the right decision in keeping him here.
One thing that aggravated me is the fact that Bylsma constantly switched Tangradi and Glass on Malkin’s line. I understand that he is trying to find someone who fits best with the two already on the line, but when you barely give them a chance, its hard for them to build up any chemistry. With that said Tangradi looked sluggish up and down the ice, he did well around the boards and screening the goalie, but you can tell that more work is needed for each of them to know each of their strengths.
What to Look For
After a slow start for him, Crosby will be in full force wanting to make a bigger impact to lead his team to victory.
Tomas Vokoun, this will be his first start as a member of the Black and Gold so look for him to do everything he has to, to help this team continue its winning ways.
Last night the Rangers were embarrassed by the Bruins being beat 6-0, King Henrik will bounce back and put on an impressive show.
The excitement is over Rick Nash is officially a Blue shirt and the first game jitters are gone, look for Nash to make an impression on the home crowd today, be it a good one or bad.
This game is hard to predict, my gut tells me it will be a close game, but some part of me wants to say it will be a blow out. The Penguins if they can keep up the intensity from yesterday should be the favorites, though the Rangers are coming home to a crowd that wants to see a better performance than the night before.
I say it will be Pens 5 – 4 in OT