Ranger Preview- Game Time @ 7:00pm
The New York Rangers’ make a short trip northeast to visit the Boston Bruins tonight in a battle between the 1st and 2nd place teams in the conference. What a difference a month makes. When these two teams last met on January 21st the game was hyped as a true test for the New York Rangers to prove their mettle against what was considered the best team in the league by many. Tonight’s game is being touted as a test for the Bruins; a chance to reassert themselves as one of the league’s best, and more importantly a chance to close the Rangers’ lead in the standing to 5 points. Boston also holds one game in hand.
The Blueshirts won the January 21st matchup 3-2 in OT. That game featured Henrik Lundqvist in net for the Rangers and Tuuka Rask in net for the Bruins. Both goalies played well and while I’m sure Rask would love the chance at revenge, expect to see Lundqvist square off against fellow all-star Tim Thomas in a clash of league titans. I was really hoping to see this matchup a month ago and I wouldn’t be surprised to see another one of those 1-0, or 2-1 games these teams have played so many of in recent years. Excellent goaltending and quality defense make these teams two of the toughest to score against in the league.
Not to worry though folks, I know when a game features such good goaltending and defense the fear is you might get something of a snoozer, but I don’t see that happening here. New York and Boston are both very physical teams that love to get a forecheck going. Even without a lot of scoring you can still be treated to some really exciting hockey. I know I’m holding my breath every time one of our beloved Blueshirts goes into a corner with Milan Lucic or Zdeno Chara. And the Bruins can be sure that Brandon Prust and Mike Rupp will be watching to make sure liberties aren’t taken with their teammates.
I love games like this where you can expect the two teams to bring their A games and battle. A highlight reel goal is nice, but only lasts a few seconds. I’ll take 60 minutes worth of warriors battling it out for every inch of ice every time and these teams have no shortage of warriors.
For our heroes, Ryan Callahan comes into the game on fire with 5 goals in his last 3 games. Henrik Lundqvist has been…well…Henrik Lundqvist, no surprises there. Brad Richards’ game has been on the upswing and the defense continues to get healthier. The Bruins broke out of a 2-4 slump on Saturday against Nashville and hope to keep on winning. Look for Milan Lucic to be a catalyst for the Bruins as he has 2 goals in the last 3 games and Tim Thomas can shut anyone down on any given night.
Prediction – Anyone wanting a Valentine’s heart will have to rip it out of someone’s chest….Let’s Go Rangers!
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