Sorry for the delay, we usually aim to post these things around 7a, but Dave is in California for work, Chris is already serving beer in the UK, and my commute doubles in duration every time it rains. Anyway, here are some quick thoughts before we prepare for the opener tonight. Feel free to chime in below…
The other day we provided video of Adam Mair delivering an awful blindside hit to Mats Zuccarello down in the AHL. The outcome? Mair received just 4 games. Way to follow big brother’s footsteps.
The Sauer Effect
Michael Sauer returns to the lineup tonight and the internet is abuzz with his potential impact. I wouldn’t expect the offense to all of sudden magically click, but where Sauer will help is on the possession side of the puck. The Rangers were a little too scrambled in their own end the past couple of games and Sauer is excellent at separating players from the puck.
Sauer also provides excellent gap control in the neutral zone and rarely gets caught flat footed. So as long as he’s playing near 100%, I’d expect the Rangers to be tighter and hopefully more balanced in the scoring chance department.
The Refs vs. MSG
Whenever we play the Leafs, or the Canadiens for that matter, I feel like the officiating is sub-par. I’m not a conspiracy theorist at all, but there have been too many games against these two teams where I’ve left the building scratching my head. Personally, I blame my old man who planted that idea in my head when I was younger and I’ve been unable to shake it since.
I don’t know how everyone else feels, but do yourself a favor and pay attention to who the refs are tonight. If we get Dan O’Halloran or Stephen Walkom it could be a long evening.
Check For Effort
Finally, I just want to comment on this new MSG 150 segment on MSG Network. Overall I like it. The concept of showing game highlights in that machine gun fire fashion is fresh and unique. But showing the same clip every break is overkill. There are 11 NHL games going on tonight…there should be plenty of material.