Game Twenty-Seven, the New York Rangers at the Vancouver Canucks
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Wait, is it really ten o'clock? Is this really the first Rangers game since Monday night? I'm so upset and confused by this Rangers schedule... the last thing I remember Kevin Klein had 6 goals and half of his ear was missing, but that can't be true. Tonight the Rangers start their four game road tour against the resurgent Vancouver Canucks who have one of the best first lines in hockey and a revitalized Ryan Miller between the pipes. The Canucks are 18-9-2 and are currently in second place behind only the Anaheim Ducks in the Pacific Division. In 29 games, each Sedin twin has 26 points and their new linemate, Radim Vrbata, has 23 points in 27 games. In other words, they are quite scary with the puck.
I expect former Ranger Derek Dorsett to make a statement tonight against his former team. He'll probably go after a couple Rangers tonight and make sure that everyone remembers him. Dorsett will do his best to agitate the Blueshirts and get his team some time on the man advantage and, as we remember, he's rather good at getting under the opposition's skin. Nothing may come of it, but I've noticed a trend of former Rangers' tough guys really enjoying going after their former team. We'll just have to see if Dorsett keeps up that tradition tonight on his new home ice.
The Canucks are rather dependent on the scoring of their top line (sound familiar?), but that doesn't make them any less of a threat. They are downright lethal on the power play. Tonight the Rangers need to keep their discipline and be sharp in their own zone against a Vancouver team that is coming off of a loss to the Habs. The Rangers have to try and find a way to get this road trip started the right way; with two points.
The New York Rangers' December Schedule
12/1 Tampa Bay at the Rangers, 7:00(loss) 12/6 Rangers at Detroit, 7:00(loss) 12/8 Penguins at Rangers, 7:00(win)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: Martin St. Louis
Marty has 15 points since November 3rd, and 9 points in has last 10 games with the Blueshirts. I'd really love to see Marty shoot more often, he is currently second on the Rangers in shots and is ranked 168th in the league with 53 through 26 games. He will always be a guy that looks to feed the puck first because of the way he plays the game, but the Rangers need him to be one of their finishers considering all of the play makers they have throughout their lineup. As great as it is to see him pick up assists like the one he did against Pittsburgh on the J.T. Miller goal on Monday night, it'll be even better to see him start putting some more rubber on the net and using that outstanding shot of his more often. Look for Marty to stay hot tonight against the Canucks after getting an extra few days to rest his legs.
Let's go Rangers! Enjoy the game and the thread
Hope your weekend is off to a great start guys and gals. Grab some coffee and a snack, it's time for 10 PM EST Rangers hockey.