Game 26: Rangers at BuffaloDecember 10, 2011, by
Standings: Sabres (15-11-2), Rangers (15-6-4)
Leading Scorer: Jason Pominville (10-20-30)
Goaltender: Jhonas Enroth (2.32 GAA, .925 SV%)
Martin Biron gets the start tonight.
Preview: This is going to be a tough matchup for the Rangers. The Sabres are another one of those small and fast teams, a team that the Rangers generally struggle against. The Sabres, with Pominville, Tomas Vanek, and Derek Roy, have one of the best top lines in the league. Their offseason acquisition of Christian Ehrhoff is paying off, but Ville Leino has been a disappointment thus far (to no one’s surprise). Expect the pairing of Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh to get the majority of the ice time against the Sabres line of Pominville-Roy-Vanek, but outside of that line there isn’t much of a threat, so the Rangers defense might be able to contain a potent Sabres offense.
Suits Take: The Sabres are very similar to the Rangers at least from a tactics and coaching perspective. They play a 2-1-2 forecheck and will send four or all five guys on the rush if the coverage calls for it.
With that said, the Sabres are indeed a smaller/quicker team, but the Rangers are the more physical team, so expect a “fight fire with fire” type of game. If you can guess the reference, then silk tie for you!
How Jhonas Enroth gets it done in today’s NHL at 5 foot nothing, one hundred sixty something pounds is pretty impressive. He’s been one of the most consistent back up goaltenders not named Biron or Schneider this season. Hopefully someone will get in his face. I vote for Dubinsky.
Crazy Thought: Stralman contributes on the powerplay.
Opponent’s Blog: Sabres Edge
Game time tonight is 7pm on MSG, AM1050 and XM214.