Game 22 Preview: Rangers at HurricanesDecember 1, 2011, by
Standings: Pittsburgh (8-14-4), Rangers (13-5-3)
Leading Scorer: Jeff Skinner (10-12-22)
Goaltender: Cam Ward (3.05 GAA, .910 SV%)
Rangers Projected Lines (projected):
Martin Biron gets the start tonight.
Preview: Carolina is in a state of flux. They fired Paul Maurice, replaced him with Kirk Muller, and lost in Muller’s debut to the Florida Panthers. Only Jeff Skinner is capable of scoring on a regular basis, only two players are in the positive side of the +/- stat, and the combination of Eric Staal and Tomas Kaberle is a whopping -30 with 5 goals and 17 points combined. Cam Ward’s GAA is atrocious, but that’s not entirely his fault. In short, this team can’t do anything right.
The Hurricanes have the speed and skill to make things a nightmare for the Rangers, who simply do not play well against quick teams. However, this team does not seem to like playing defense at all. They have the second worst goal differential in hockey (-25), and have allowed the most goals this season (86). The Rangers need to utilize that 2-1-2 forecheck and get to the Canes defensemen, who are stuggling mightily. Force turnovers, keep the Canes in their own zone, and win the game.
This has trap game written all over it. The Rangers are coming off three straight emotional wins against conference and divisional rivals, and have one of the toughest 8 game stretches they will see this year following this game.
Crazy Thought: Dubinsky actually gets a goal.
Opponent’s Blog: Cardiac Cane
Game time tonight is 7pm on MSG and AM1050.