Game 30 Preview: Rangers at Phoenix

December 17, 2011, by

Standings: Coyotes (16-12-3), Rangers (17-8-4)

Leading Scorer: Ray Whitney (10-18-28)

Goaltender: Mike Smith(26 GP, 2.53 GAA, .920 SV%)

Rangers Lines (probable):

Artem Anisimov-Derek Stepan-Marian Gaborik
Ruslan Fedotenko-Brad Richards-Ryan Callahan
Carl Hagelin-Brian Boyle-John Mitchell
Mike Rupp-Brandon Dubinsky-Brandon Prust

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto-Steve Eminger
Jeff Woywitka-Anton Stralman

Martin Biron gets the start.

Scratches/Injuries: Marc Staal (concussion symptoms), Wojtek Wolski (groin), Mike Sauer (concussion), Sean Avery (healthy), Erik Christensen (healthy)

Preview: Those pesky ex-Rangers Coyotes are once again in the playoff hunt despite having a roster that underwhelms. The Yotes rely on a balanced scoring attack from Ray Whitney, the ever streaky Radim Vdbata, Keith Yandle, and Shane Doan. Ex-Rangers Lauri Korpikoski and Derek Morris also play significant roles for the Yotes, and they are expecting Michal Rozsival back in the lineup tonight as well.

Phoenix is another one of those Dallas type teams that is winning despite themselves. They are middle of the road in both GF (82) and GA (82), which gives them an even goal differential. This is a team that just finds ways to win, despite their roster limitations and unsure future. If there’s one glaring weakness on this team, it’s depth. They have just four players over 20 points, but they have 10 players over 10 points. So while they lack big time depth, they do get supplemental scoring.

The Rangers have gotten away from what they do best in the past two games, which is grind it out and play smart hockey. Phoenix will give them a run for their money, but this is a must win for the Rangers, who are stuggling on this eight game test against playoff opponents. Injuries are not an excuse. They need to win tonight, period.

Crazy Thought: Brandon Dubinsky shows up.

Opponent’s Blog: Howlin’ Hockey

Game time tonight is 8pm on MSG, AM1050 and XM214.

Categories : Game Thread


  1. bob says:

    I predict the Rangers win this one big time.They match up well against the Yotes unless they don’t show up.If they don’t show up,the ex Rangers are going to light them up.But if the Rangers show up,I think they will blow them out.We need to win this one.Lets go Rangers.

    • Dave says:

      They match up well against St. Louis too, it’s a matter of desire to win these non-conference games.

      They need this win tonight though.

  2. bob says:

    Dubi should get friendly with the Yotes and the area.Odds are good he winds up with the Yotes if he ever gets traded.

    • Dave says:

      The Yotes have nothing I would want in a trade.

      • bob says:

        You got a point there,would have to be prospects or picks.Speaking of that,surprised by what they got for Turris.I think Ottawa overpayed quite a bit.Does not look like Turris is ever going to be more than a third liner.

  3. Blueshirt in Paris says:

    How do you know who is being scratched when Torts has not said it yet?

  4. Bobby Tux says:

    You sure no Rupp or Avery

    • bob says:

      Rupp supposedly is playing.Torts has stated he has a reason why he is not announcing the scratch until after the pre game skate.

  5. bob says:

    Tonight is really the first time I will complain about Tort’s personal agenda with Avery.There is no excuse whatsoever for Avery to be scracthed.The team lacked emotion the last two games.Christensen over Avery is a disgrace tonight.I am not a coach but I believe I am fairly knowledgable and I would have played Avery since the Dallas game.The Dallas game is a complete no brainer.You know Sean would bring his A game.Obviously he would have to be reminded not to let his emotions get away from him.

  6. bob says:

    It seemed like as soon Phoenix got a little more physical in the 2nd,the Rangers stopped going for the loose pucks.They should have turned around and got more physical themselves.The Yotes just took the game over.They better come out banging in the 3rd.

  7. JordanO says:

    What a shot by Richards! just… what a play.

  8. Walt says:

    Last nights ending WOW!!!!!!!