Saturday, November 13, 2010

Rangers vs Oilers Pregame: Early Start Seeks Similar Finish

Rangers (8-7-1) vs Edmonton (4-8-3)
Key Opposing Player: Ales Hemsky (4-7-11)
Frolov- Christensen -Gaborik
Avery- Stepan -White

Staal - Girardi
Del Zotto - Eminger


On Thursday night the Rangers got back their star in Marian Gaborik and while the rust was evident at times, so was his tremendous skill level and the amount of space he can create on the ice for others.  He will look to shake off more of the rust and let the skill shine through even more as the Rangers welcome back former coach Tom Renney and his young Edmonton Oilers squad Sunday afternoon.  The Rangers will be looking for their second straight win and to improve their home record to 4-5-1 in the tilt.  What the Rangers should have taken away from Thursday’s game is that even with Gaborik in the lineup all three of their goals in the game were scored in the way in which they had to get them while he was out; fore-check, cycle and grind it out hockey.  As I said before Thursday’s game if they combine that system and mentality with the skill of Gaborik the results will be there.

The defense will look to build on a solid game in which all six played well in the absence of Michal Rozsival except for two lousy coverage plays that cost the Rangers the goals.  Steve Eminger will look to continue his solid play of late and the Staal-Girardi will have to be a number 1 pair every night as they have been in the past in order to help out whomever is in net.  The Rangers will look to Martin Biron has again in net who has shown so far this year he is a more than capable backup in his stead.

The opposition, Edmonton Oilers, have struggled mightily out of the gate as was to be expected with the amount of you they are relying on to play large roles on the club.  They will be expected to play a hard game as Ranger fans know that is what Renney expects of his players even if they don’t execute it properly and there will be accountability if they do not have the proper effort as was on display as Taylor Hall was given the pine in a lousy team performance vs Carolina earlier this week.  There is no denying the talent that exists on this club in Hall, Paajarvi, Eberle, Penner, Hemsky, Gagner, Whitney, but right now they cannot put that together for results. 

If the Rangers play their game the way they know how they should get the victory.

Prediction: Anisimov, Stepan, Gaborik score; Rangers win 3-1