When: Tuesday, October 18, 10:00 p.m. ET
Opponent: @Vancouver (2-2-1)
On Tuesday night the Rangers will begin the final leg of
their absurd fall road trip that took them across the Atlantic Ocean and back
again and now across North America to Western Canada.
The Blueshirts, one of only two win-less teams in the
National Hockey League, will attempt to get off the schneid when they take on
the 2011 Stanley Cup runner-up Vancouver Canucks.
It’ll be a tall task, but Vancouver hasn’t gotten off to a
great start either. The Canucks are just
2-2-1, but Vancouver will receive a boost as alternate captain Ryan Kesler is expected
to make his season debut after undergoing hip surgery in late July.
The Canucks’ three losses have come against the likes of
Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Detroit while Vancouver has beaten Columbus and
Edmonton, but this team is not yet playing on the same level it did last
Still, New York’s shorthanded blueline will be tested - this
time by the sensational Sedin twins who have won the last two Art Ross Trophies.
Stalwart Dan Girardi and sophomore Ryan McDonagh will be
tasked with slowing down the Sedins and goalie Henrik Lundqvist will also have
to be on the top of his game, but for New York to pick up its first victory the
team will need to begin producing offensively.
Lundqvist, Girardi, McDonagh and the rest of the patchwork
defense has been terrific in the early going, but it’s been the offense that
has held the Rangers back.
New York ranks dead last in the NHL with an average of just
1.67 goals per game and if the Blueshirts have any hope of landing in the win
column they’ll need production up front.
The top line of Derek Stepan/Brad Richards/Marian Gaborik looked solid on Saturday and Richards and Gaborik are both off to solid starts,
but the Rangers have received very little in the way of secondary scoring. Brandon Prust and Ryan Callahan have the team’s
only other goals, so the other three lines will have to contribute more for New
York to keep up with the high-flying Canucks.
The good news is that Vancouver has struggled to keep the
puck out of its net.
Roberto Luongo has given up 11 goals on just 85 shots to
start the season and the Canucks rank 22nd in
Vancouver has also given up two power play goals in three of
its first five games, so if there’s a time for the Rangers’ revamped man
advantage to take advantage, this is it.
The Canucks are without a doubt the toughest team New York
has faced yet, but the Blueshirts turned in arguably their best effort of the
season a year ago on January 13th when they beat the Canucks 1-0.
- Here’s New York’s projected lineup:
Derek Stepan/Brad Richards/Marian Gaborik
Brandon Dubinsky/Artem Anisimov/Ryan Callahan
Ruslan Fedotenko/Brian Boyle/Brandon Prust
Mike Rupp/Erik Christensen/Kris Newbury
- Dale Weise - who was claimed off waivers by Vancouver after
being waived by the Rangers on October 4th - will likely be in the Canucks’
- Mike Sauer will not
play against the Canucks. Wojtek
Wolski is also likely out
of the lineup. Both players did
practice on Monday.
Up For Twitter And Follow These People! >
Conference Preview > (10/3/11)
Conference Preview > (10/4/11)
Predict Where The Rangers Will Finish > (10/5/11)
Rangers Season Preview > (10/5/11)
Claim Jeff Woywitka Off Waivers > (10/6/11)
King” Vs. The Kings In Season-Opener > (10/7/11)
Doom Rangers In OT Loss To Kings > (10/7/11)
Duck Anaheim, Rangers Must Stay Out Of The Box > (10/7/11)
Offense, But Rangers Pick Up Another Point > (10/8/11)
Erixon Will Stick Around For The Time Being > (10/9/11)
Learned: Two Games In The Books > (10/10/11)
To Move Stepan To First-Line Left Wing > (10/10/11)
Show Early Improvement With Faceoffs > (10/11/11)
Vinny > (10/13/11)
Must Find A Way With Patchwork Defense > (10/14/11)
Top Line Shows Promise, But Rangers Have No Answer For John Tavares > (10/15/11)
To Chew On > (10/17/11)
Future On Broadway In Doubt > (10/17/11)
Rangers Must Slow The Sedins, Score Some Goals > (10/18/11)
here for our full 2011-2012 Season Archive >
Follow us on Twitter (@NYRBlueBulletin and @kevinbaumer) and on Facebook.