Monday, November 22, 2010

Ranger Preview: Biron in again tonight versus Flames

Martin Biron gets the nod again in net when the Flames pay a visit to MSG tonight. The vet backup's done an admirable job thus far, allowing John Tortorella to rest Henrik Lundqvist more. As noted, King Henrik wasn't sharp the last two outings letting in a few questionable goals in losses to Boston and Colorado in which he got yanked.

He understands the decision and how he must perform when he gets back in against dangerous leading scorer Steven Stamkos and Tampa Bay when the Rangers hit the road for three games beginning on Turkey Eve.

"I don't want to be selfish. It's about the team. Marty played well the other night and we won. I think I can be more consistent," Lundqvist told The Record's Andrew Gross via Twitter. "It's about making better decisions. It starts in your head.

With Tort going with the hot hand, it allows our franchise netminder to get more rest and also work on technique with goalie coach Benoit Allaire. As Elissa (sarcasmpucktail) alluded to in her post, the last time they rested him two straight he came back with his best effort, stoning the Pens in a wild 3-2 overtime win in which he shut them out for 57 minutes. With the annual Thanksgiving trip to the Sunshine State with stops in Tampa and Florida before traveling to Music City for a date with the Predators, it's understandable why Lundqvist is being saved. The schedule is picking up and we need him to be mentally fresh.

For Biron, it'll be a good test against the inconsistent Flames who can go from blowing out teams like in their 7-2 rout of Detroit to losing games badly. You never can tell with Brent Sutter's club. Jarome Iginla is finally hot scoring five over two games including a hat trick versus the Wings. Alex Tanguay has turned back the clock, putting up points in bunches. So, they present a stiff challenge for Marc Staal and Dan Girardi. How much will Steve Eminger see of the duo?

As for Olli Jokinen and Ales Kotalik, neither will play with the Jokester serving a three-game suspension for a cheapshot while Ally remains sidelined with an injury. But the best player in the trade Brandon Prust, who battled through a charley horse to play a whale of a game the other night, gets to face his former 'mates. The rugged winger called the trade the best thing for his career where he's seen an increased role, also serving as a PK fixture. Good for Prusty.

I'll catch what I can after basketball scrimmages in Park Slope and maybe the gym. See ya later.

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