Game Twenty-Four, the Tampa Bay Lightning at the New York Rangers
Tonight the Rangers are going up against a team that has given them trouble like no other team this season. Ryan Callahan, Steven Stamkos, and Ben Bishop have all had the Rangers' number and have helped Tampa take the last two meetings of these two clubs easily. The speed, crisp passing, and aggressive defense of Tampa seems to give the Rangers fits but the Rangers will have Ryan McDonagh in the lineup this time around and are currently feeling good after two very strong performances against Giroux's Flyers just after Thanksgiving.
The Rangers are going to need to stay out of the penalty box tonight and are going to need to protect the area around their net. The Lightning have enjoyed a lot of odd-man rushes and goals around the front of the net against Henrik Lundqvist in the previous two meetings of these clubs and if the Rangers don't learn how to adjust and counterattack what Tampa is doing, teams around the league are going to take notice on a great recipe of getting two points when you play the Rangers. Here's hoping that we see a better performance from the Blueshirts tonight on Garden ice. I'm really getting tired of seeing Ryan Callahan looking so damn happy and smug in that bizarre jersey.
The New York Rangers' December Schedule
12/1 Tampa Bay at the Rangers, 7:00
12/6 Rangers at Detroit, 7:00
12/8 Penguins at Rangers, 7:00
12/13 Rangers at Vancouver, 10:00
12/14 Rangers at Edmonton, 9:30
12/16 Rangers at Calgary, 9:00
12/20 Rangers at Carolina, 7:00
12/21 Carolina at Rangers, 7:00
12/23 Capitals at Rangers, 7:00
12/27 Devils at Rangers, 7:00
12/29 Rangers at Dallas, 8:30
12/31 Rangers at Florida, 6:00
Mike's Player to Watch: Chris Kreider
Kreider has just 4 goals through 23 games this season and that just isn't good enough for a guy that the Rangers need to be getting goals from. Kreider has looked good and has had his chances this season, but for some reason the puck hasn't been going in for him lately. Hopefully a new month rolling around will bring about a return to form for the Rangers' young, dynamic power forward who can seemingly out skate and out muscle just about anyone. The Rangers need production from Kreider in a big, bad way and they need it to come soon. For too long the Rangers' offense has been dependent on the finishing ability of Rick Nash and Martin St. Louis, there needs to be goals coming from other places and Chris Kreider should be one of the team's biggest contributors in that department.
Let's go Rangers! Enjoy the game and the thread
Have a great week guys and gals.