Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Battle Of Hudson resumes in Newark tonight

The second installment of the Battle Of Hudson gets going tonight at The Rock in Newark. A great way to resume the season following an interesting All-Star weekend that was highlighted by Marian Gaborik garnering MVP honors with a hat trick and assist in Team Chara's 12-9 win over Team Alfredsson in Ottawa. Even cooler, Gabby made teammate Henrik Lundqvist eat his words by scoring on him twice while also imitating Artem Anisimov with the pointed gun celebration, following a neat Pavel Datsyuk pass. Pretty awesome even if Henke is being a bit childish about the Artie. Lighten up dude.

Speaking of which, for the first time in five-plus years, Lundqvist will not be in net against his favorite opponent with John Tortorella opting to give the Vezina frontrunner an extra day off- opting for Martin Biron instead. Interestingly enough, the last time someone other than Hank started against the Devils, the Rangers were routed 6-1 with Kevin Weekes in net. A streak of 32 straight will come to an end today with Tort opting to start Lundqvist at Buffalo tomorrow. Interesting decision considering Henke's record versus the Devils and Biron being the more logical choice for another return to Western New York. I don't have any issue. Keeping Henrik fresh is more important than the two points up for grabs.

It also could be a tactic of keeping his team on its toes. They had a week off and now are back at it against a desperate team who needs the 'W.' The Devils are locked into a tight race for the final two spots, entering play tied with the Panthers and Leafs with 55 points. Considering their shootout success, they actually trail Florida, who has four less wins (22). With the emphasis on regulation, that tiebreaker could be crucial. In the mean time, they'll go without top rookie Adam Henrique, who is still nursing a groin injury. Dainius Zubrus replaces him on the top line with Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk. Andy Greene could also return and play alongside Mark Fayne, which could boost the D. Martin Brodeur gets the nod in goal.

I'll be working tonight. Not like I could catch it anyway thanks to the Dolan/Time Warner mess. I'll get the usual text updates from the Rangers and maybe catch the end on the radio, which has been good. I'm sure Hasan will have more on it later or tomorrow.

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