Thursday, January 3, 2008

Rangers travel to Vancouver looking to rebound (Update - 10:45)

-- In-game update -- Man, I was wrong again. Prucha is in fact in, but not playing on the second line. Ryan Callahan has been moved up to play with Chris Drury and Sean Avery, and Prucha is playing with Marcel Hossa and Brandon Dubinsky. After a period of scoreless play, and Prucha playing well so far, Tom Renney may still make the switch. Callahan is due, as he hasn't scored since the first game of the season. We'll see how the rest of the game pans out, but period one was pretty physical, having Ryan Hollweg dropping the gloves a mere four seconds in. I may check in again after the second, if not, talk to you tomorrow.

- - Update - - 9:00 - - Brendan Shanahan is out for tonight's game, being replaced on the second line by Petr Prucha. Supposedly he experienced some back and neck stiffness throughout last night's game, and tonight he could barely look around without turning his whole body. Valiquette is still in, and by the looks of it, Malik is too.

Disappointing loss last night by the Rangers as the took on the Flames. One of those rare, bad goals that Henrik Lundqvist let in came back to bite the Rangers as Calgary beat them 4-3. Chris Drury had another stellar night in the faceoff circle, the offense looked like it was coming together and the defense was mediocre, but really should have been better. Just one of those games that you have to chalk up to the other goaltender being better and had Miika Kirposoff not been on his A game last night, the Rangers would have left with the two points.

Tonight's game gets no easier for the Rangers as they move on to Vancouver to take on the Canucks. Roberto Luongo will be knocking away Rangers' shots for the 'Nucks, while Stephen Valiquette gets the nod for the Rangers. Hopefully this forces the Rangers to step up on defense and not do so much running around. Vancouver isn't as quick as Calgary, but they have their fair share of offensive power up and down the lineup. Marek Malik looked off his game last night again, further fueling speculation that he is being shopped as the trade deadline looms closer.

I have to admit a mistake also, as last night I was certain Petr Prucha would be back in the lineup. He was not, Marcel Hossa was, and anyone who read last night collectively called me a liar. It echoed all the way up the Hudson. Tonight, I will say that he is likely to be in, but I make no guarentees. That's just to save myself should he not play. Hopefully I did not lose too many faithful fans with this blunder.

Tonight's game is a late one for us East Coasters. Turn on MSG at 10 to catch the game, and I will check in again tomorrow.

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