Who Wins the 2014 Stanley Cup?

New York Rangers

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Rangers Kick Off The Second Half Against The Shorthanded Penguins
And they'll have some reinforcements of their own...


Ryan Callahan has been sorely missed


Ryan Callahan has been sorely missed

Penguins @ Rangers

Madison Square Garden, 7:30 Tuesday


Rangers record: 29-20-3

Penguins record: 31-15-4

 

Tomorrow night the Rangers return to action against the Pittsburgh Penguins, and boy are the Blueshirts catching Pittsburgh at a good time.

Sidney Crosby isn’t yet close to a return from his concussion, and Evgeni Malkin won’t play tomorrow either, meaning the Rangers will face a woefully shorthanded Penguins squad.  Not that the Rangers feel pity, after all they’ve been banged up for two months.  But the roster the Penguins will ice tomorrow night shouldn’t be too intimidating.  Without Malkin and Crosby, Chris Kunitz is the Penguins best offensive threat.  That means the Penguins may not be able to score much, and they’ll have to count on Marc-Andre Fleury who has been tremendous of late in goal.  The Penguins defense, led by Kris Letang, is deep and talented.  Along with Crosby, Malkin, Fleury, and Letang; Brooks Orpik, Alex Goligoski, Paul Martin, and Zbynek Michael form the backbone of the Penguins.  They’ll have to be at the top of their games tomorrow night without much offensive help.

The Rangers have gotten lucky with timing against the Penguins, but the Blueshirts haven’t been intimidated by the Penguins even when they were healthy this year.  Two big wins against Pittsburgh earlier in the season should give the Rangers plenty of confidence going into this match up, confidence that will only be aided by the returns of Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi, and possibly even Brandon Dubinsky.  Over the next week or so the Rangers should return to nearly full health, and no one has been missed more than Callahan.  The Rangers treaded water without him, but he’s the heart and soul of the team and will be a huge reinvigorator for the team post-All-Star break.

The Rangers could struggle from rust and lineup changes tomorrow night, but if they play a simple, hard fore-checking game, this should be an attainable two points.  The Rangers did a great job weathering the storm of injuries, and starting the second half with a win would be a very good piece to build on for the Blueshirts.

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I'm going to wait on posting my first half report card until all the polls are completed (on your left).  I'd like to include your votes, and we've only got a few players left to grade.  

 

Head over to BB+ to see how I'd handle the lines once everyone returns

Posted by Kevin Baumer | January 31, 2011 at 08:39 pm
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New York Rangers VS Tampa Bay Lightning
Wednesday, November 26, 2014

  1 2 3 OT F
Rangers 2 0 1 - 3
Lightning 2 1 1 - 4








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