Penguins @ Rangers|It's Clobbering time PTII|01/31/13 7:00EST
Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers
The Season so far
Well, where to start? After the lockout was finally concluded fans waited with baited breath for the start of the season and were drilled with commercials re-iterating that #hockeyisback although I'm sure some teams would wish it hadn't started again with the way they're going. This isn't the case for either of today's teams despite their poor starts. Pittsburgh initially started with a tricky season opener against the Flyers but in bizarre fashion it resulted in a fairly easy win whilst the Rangers dropped the opener away to Boston. Both teams have already met this season at MSG in the second game for both. Lundqvist wasn't up to his normal best which saw him pulled as the Penguins went on to win 6-3. At that point Penguins fan were dancing on the ceiling with their start but it went downhill from there. After that the team seemed to lose impetus. They said hello to their fans in the home opener but dropped it against the Maple Leafs whilst Rangers picked up their first two points of the season. Since then Rangers have picked up momentum after a slight bump after losing against Philadelphia and the Penguins have slumped after further poor performances against Ottawa (SO win) and the Islanders (4-1 loss). Time to put that right.
Last time they met
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Dustin Jeffrey - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Matt Cooke - Brandon Sutter - Tyler Kennedy
Craig Adams - Joe Vitale - Tanner Glass
Brooks Orpik - Paul Martin
Kris Letang - Simon Despres
Deryk Engelland - Reverend
Rick Nash - Brad Richards - Marian Gaborik
Carl Hagelin - Derek Stepan - Taylor Pyatt
Michael Rupp - Brian Boyle - Benn Ferreiro
Kris Newbury - Jeff Halpern - Arron Asham
Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Michael Del Zotto
Steve Eminger - Anton Stralman
As strange as it sounds, this can be a great timing for another NYR game. We are always on top of our game against them. They are probably respecting us a bit too much. A win here could get us back on track. We can do it against Rangers. We beated them in last 4 meetings last year and fooled them this year. All wins were by dominating performances.
Weren't the Rangers the only team you guys have scored more than 2 against? I'm not counting the empty netter against the Flyers. Considering you destroyed us and have scored 16 goals in our last 3 meetings, you will probably destroy us again.
Tanner ****ing GLASS, Cole... he CUTS people all right? Recognize the skills.
On a serious note I have no problems with Kennedy on Line 4 but I'd rather see Tangradi on 3 not Glass. And leave him there a few games. Let him take the initiative there and not ride coat-tails. Cooke, Sutter and Tango should be able to get a good cycle game going, wreak some goalie havoc ... if someone allows them time to get familiar with the new arrangement.
I'm not saying that I've given up hope, but watching the Chicago v. Minny game today, it felt weird to watch a team that was hungry for a win. The Pens have not looked hungry. They've looked lost and content. The only thing good going into this game is that the Rangers haven't looked spectacular at all this season (especially the first couple games). With Callahan out, it should also improve our chances. It really just depends on if DB realizes he is getting close to being canned and inspires the team to put forth a little effort.
I'll go off the hopeful deep end and say Pens win 3-2. Crosby 1-1.
At this point in time we can easily win or lose any game.
Difference will be whether our stars give us offense by their lonesomes/PP connects or not.
Will be interesting to see who gets the start in goal for us, and who Tortorella matches his top line against. If it is Malkin's as I imagine, Bylsma has to be conscious to not let our third pairing get as much ice-time with Malkin 5 on 5 as he usually gives them. They will suffer both Gaborik's speed and Nash's combo of speed/strength.