WHATS ALL THIS THEN?
Detroit plays their second game in back-to-back nights, this time in Manhattan.
NOW WHERE WERE WE?
The Rangers came to the Joe in October of 2008, the last time these two teams met. The final score was 5-4 for the Wings in overtime, on the strength of goals from Homer (5), Franzen (3), and Hossa, Hudler, and Samuelsson, each with the first of the season. Zetterberg (groin) and Stuart (knee) were out, and Darren Helm was up from Grand Rapids — the Wings improved to 3-1-1 on the season.
WHAT’S HAPPENED SINCE THEN
The Rangers rebounded and slid into the playoffs as the 7th seed, losing in seven games to the Washington Ovechkins. In comes Chris Higgins, Enver Lisin, Donald Brashear, Matt Gilroy, Michael Del Zotto, Marian Gaborik, Ales Kotalik, and Vinny Prospal. Out go Scott Gomez, Colton Orr, Nik Antropov, Derek Morris, Blair Betts, and Nik Zherdev. Lots of turnover. They’re like Montreal Canadiens Lite.
OH, HI AGAIN
Former Red Wing and current douche Sean Avery fits right in on Madison Avenue, even though he wears suits with shorts.
Red Wings farmhand Doug Janik was property of the Rangers at the end of last season, but never got into a game with the Rags.
BEST NAME NOMINEE
BRAD MAY ALERT
The Rangers have guys like Brashear, Aaron Voros, Brian Boyle, Avery, and Dane Byers. Hint to Brad May: Brashear does not respond well to sticks to the head.
DID YOU KNOW…
Both of Patrick Eaves goals this season came in shootout losses. Let’s hope that doesn’t continue.
THEIR LAST GAMES
–Detroit lost last night, in a shootout, just across the river in Jersey.
–The Rangers defeated Buffalo 2-1, in upstate New York. They actually had to travel further to get to tonight’s game than the Red Wings did.
–Detroit Red Wings :: 13-10-5 (3rd in Central, 10th in West) :: 5-5-3 on the road.
–New York Four Stanley Cups in 85 Years :: 14-13-1 (3rd in Atlantic, 9th in East) :: 7-6-0 at home.
RANGERS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Ryan Callahan :: Michael Del Zotto :: Chris Drury :: Brandon Dubinsky :: Marian Gaborik :: Henrik Lundqvist
I haven’t heard if Rafalski’s back in, so I’ll assume that he’s not. Kindl has been playing very well, and looks to fit in already — which is great news for ’10-’11. It’s a back-to-back night, so I assume Howard is starting (particularly since Osgood didn’t exactly earn his way into another start).
Leino — Datsyuk — Bertuzzi
Cleary — Zetterberg — Holmstrom
Draper — Helm — Eaves
Maltby/Miller — Abdelkader — May
Lidstrom — Ericsson
Stuart — Lebda
Meech — Kindl
Unknown: either Miller, Maltby, or May one would assume.
Andreas “Precision Rifle” Lilja
Johan “Not the Novelist” Franzen
Valtteri “Google’s Only Valtteri OR Filppula” Filppula
Jason “Sixth Result when Searching Jason Williams” Williams
Niklas “Brother of Steffan” Kronwall
Brian “Professor of Mathematics” Rafalski
1. Not that they played super-well, but if the Wings play like they did against the Devils, they should beat the Rangers.
2. The defense has to pick it up. I know they’re missing three regulars (assuming Rafalski is still out), but now would be a great time to turn it around. Also, Nick Lidstrom needs to start scoring and assising.
3. Kyle from BDS is right. As he said in the comments of the post-game, Zetterberg and Datsyuk need to carry this team better than they have been. I’d love a goal from all four captains against the Rangers (although Draper gets a pass after scoring in the Devils game), to set an example for everyone not named Patrick Eaves.
4. Jimmy Howard has been the stronger of the two goalies the last month or so, but Howard’s last outing was horrendous. Which version shows up will be paramount.
5. As much as I love the Draper-Helm-Eaves line, they really shouldn’t be the best for either team. But, here’s hoping they keep doing what they’re doing. Perhaps a line shuffle is in order to spread the wealth, but I’d be hesitant to break up that trio. Not to worry, Mike Babcock doesn’t believe in change.
WHAT WE LEARNED vs. the Devils
Apparently, it’s not the Wings that suck in overtime/shootout – it’s Chris Osgood.
RANGER WE COVET (JJ Special)
I love Michael DelZotto and Henrik Lundqvist (and I know JJ wants Enver the Inosaur), but if I could poach one player from the Rangers, it’d be Ryan Callahan. I think with the right linemates, he’d be a special player.