by Patrick Hoffman on 01/18/13 at 08:00 AM ET
Here we are folks. About two and a half months after the season was suppossed to begin, the New York Rangers will open up their regular season tomorrow night in Boston with a tilt against the Boston Bruins.
For the Blueshirts, this game has been a long time coming. It marks the debut of Rick Nash and what will hopefully be a more dynamic offense both in even strength situations, and on the power play.
The game also represents the start of what some predict will be a great 48-game season for the Blueshirts. While it is too early to start talking about hockey's Holy Grail, it is definitely something that the Rangers should be able to contend for this year.
The Rangers were 3-1 last season against the Bruins. The Blueshirts outscored the B's by a 11-7 margin and in those games, got great goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, who had a memorable 40-save shutout in Boston back on February 14.
Much like last season, the Blueshirts will need solid goaltending from Lundqvist to stop the likes of Tyler Seguin, Nathan Horton, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand. With Horton healthy, the Bruins are a more dangerous hockey club offensively.
Defensively, the team will need to do what they did extremely well last season and that's block shots. Guys like Zdeno Chara, Johnny Boychuk, and may be even rookie Dougie Hamilton like to get pucks to the net, which means Ranger forwards like Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan, Brian Boyle and defenseman Dan Girardi need to do one of the things that they do best and that is block shots.
Offensively, the Rangers will be going up against Bruins' masked man Tuukka Rask. With Tim Thomas taking the year off, Rask is the undisputed No. 1 goaltender in the Bruins' crease this season and should he perform well, could make things very interesting for 2013-14 season.
This is an extremely important game for both clubs. Not only does it mark the opening of season, but with just 48 regular season games, every tilt means something.
With the way Rangers' head coach John Tortorella and the rest of his team approached last season, one would expect the Blueshirts to know this and to be ready for what could end up being a very special season on Broadway.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: boston+bruins, brad+marchand, brian+boyle, dan+girardi, david+krejci, derek+stepan, dougie+hamilton, henrik+lundqvist, john+tortorella, johnny+boychuk, milan+lucic, nathan+horton, new+york+rangers, patrice+bergeron, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, tuukka+rask, tyler+seguin, zdeno+chara
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.