Friday, October 29, 2010

Rangers vs Carolina Hurricanes Pregame

Rangers (4-3-1) vs Carolina (4-4)
Key Opposing Player: Eric Staal (3-3-6)
There is no official word on lineup or lines, but based on practice and media quotes I am going to project a lineup looking like the following:
Dubinsky - Anisimov – Callahan
Avery - Boyle – Fedotenko
Frolov - White – Prust
Grachev – Stepan - EC

Staal - Rozsival
Del Zotto - Girardi

(If we do see that lineup hopefully we will role 4 lines a little more at ES)
The Rangers will take the ice tonight looking to not only get back on the winning track, but also look to get back to playing the fundamental hockey they were playing before the clunker they threw up there against Atlanta on Wednesday night.  The Dubinsky-Anisimov-Callahan line will have to lead this team again and they will need to get contributions from others along with continued strong play from Sean Avery and Ruslan Fedetenko.  The defense will have to play much better than on Wednesday both in their coverage and their physicality in their own zone.  Way too many turnovers, lazy sticks and untouched offensive players against Atlanta and that certainly wont work against a team in Carolina that in my opinion has even more skill.  As Tortorella said following Wednesday’s game they are not skilled enough to play as they did and win games.  This team must be blue collar to get points.

Carolina comes in at 4-4 which might not seem great but considering the awful draw they have had with the schedule I would consider that a pretty good start. We all know about Eric Staal, but this team has more in Jussi Jokinen, Jeff Skinner, Joni Pitkanen, Anton Babchuk to go with Cam Ward in net.

Prediction I expect the Rangers to come out hard due to the embarrassment of the other night and get the win in a close one 3-2.