Who Wins the 2014 Stanley Cup?

New York Rangers

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Game Day: Struggling Flames Visit The Garden
Calgary is having a rough time giving the Rangers a good chance at another home win...


Ruslan Fedotenko has been a key contributor


Ruslan Fedotenko has been a key contributor

 

Flames @ Rangers

Madison Square Garden, 7:00 p.m. Monday

Rangers record: 11-9-1

Flames record: 8-10-1

 

The Rangers will host the Calgary Flames tomorrow night but unfortunately Olli Jokinen is serving a suspension so the team will have to cancel plans for a video tribute on Jokinen’s time with the club.

The Flames are off to a rough start this season and have been particularly bad lately, prompting some to speculate about whether Calgary could trade Captain Jarome Iginla.  It’s probably a little premature for that, but Calgary made an attempt to shake things up this week by sending defenseman Ian White and Brett Sutter to Carolina for Anton Babchuk and Tom Kostopoulos.  The team just hasn’t had much direction lately and is heading in the road of a full rebuild.  Calgary lost to Detroit today in overtime but beat Chicago soundly on Friday; prior to that they’d lost three in a row.  The team isn’t strong in any area; they’re 15th in goals scored, 21st in goals against, 19th on the power play and 11th on the penalty kill.  After a tough start to the season Iginla has caught fire lately and has five goals in his last two games.  He’s still the team’s most important player, but his best days appear to be behind him.  The Flames don’t have another star up front, but Niklas Hagman, Alex Tanguay, Rene Bourque and Curtis Glencross all have six goals or more and Brendan Morrison and Matt Stajan are decent playmaking centers.  The once crazy deep Flames defense hasn’t been as good this season but White may have been the biggest problem and was already -10.  Jay Bouwmeester, Robyn Regeher, Mark Giordano, Corey Sarich and Babchuk are still as good as anyone on paper, but they haven’t always played up to their billing.  Miikka Kiprusoff was fantastic last year but his numbers have taken a hit this season along with the rest of the team.  After Kiprusoff started today it’s very possible that Henrik Karlsson will get the start against the Blueshirts.  His numbers are awful because of one atrocious start but Karlsson has only three games of experience so it’s tough to say how he’d fair tomorrow. 

It was an up and down weekend for the Rangers as they were clobbered by Colorado on Friday and then took out their frustrations on Minnesota last night.  Outside of Friday’s embarrassment, the Rangers have been playing very solid hockey since Marian Gaborik’s return with four wins in the last six games.  Henrik Lundqvist will be back in net in all likelihood for New York, and he really needs a strong showing to restore some of his own confidence and that of Coach John Tortorella.  Lundqvist hasn’t looked right lately and was pulled on Friday night.  Biron got the start on Saturday, which Tortorella said was the original plan, but Hank, always tough on himself, has to be upset with his play lately.  The Rangers defense has been playing very well lately in the absence of Michal Rozsival.  Dan Girardi, Mike Sauer, Steve Eminger and Marc Staal have all been steady, and even Matt Gilroy has been involved recently.  The biggest question for the team right now is the play of Michael Del Zotto who was directly responsible for three Colorado goals Friday.  He was better yesterday, but even the notoriously confident DZ has to be a little rattled right now, and like Lundqvist, would benefit from a few solid efforts in a row.  Up front, the Rangers offense has been as expected with Marian Gaborik back in the lineup.  Whoever plays with him produces, and the unexpected secondary attack from Artem Anisimov, Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, Ruslan Fedotenko etc. keeps on chipping in. 

The Flames are simply not a very good team right now.  If the Rangers play their game and play hard, this should be a relatively easy two points.  Of course, this is a home game so the Rangers may inexplicably struggle.  But assuming they play as they have over the last couple weeks, this one should have a positive result. 

 

- The Brad Richards rumors have started up (again).  Take a look at some analysis by Canyon of Blueshirts, who breaks it down pretty well.  

 

 

Posted by Kevin Baumer | November 21, 2010 at 09:40 pm
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New York Rangers VS New Jersey Devils
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

  1 2 3 OT F
Rangers 1 0 2 - 3
Devils 1 1 1 - 3








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