by Patrick Hoffman on 01/16/09 at 01:45 PM ET
Tonight will be an important test for the New York Rangers as they take on the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center. The Blackhawks are currently fourth in the Western Conference and sport an impressive home record of 16-4-3.
Back on October 10, the Blueshirts defeated the Blackhawks in their home opener at Madison Square Garden but this is a much different Hawks team than the one that was on the ice three months ago. They have a new coach in Joel Quenneville, are getting scoring across the board from the likes of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Martin Havlat, playing solid defensively and are getting excellent goaltending from both Nikolai Khabibulin and Cristobal Huet.
“Outside of the skill they were able to exhibit back then, I think they will be pretty different (tonight),” Rangers’ head coach Tom Renney told the team’s web site. “I think there is a level of commitment and discipline to their game now.”
One thing the Rangers will need to do in this game is score some goals. It’s obvious that the Blueshirts are content with winning one-goal games by scores of 2-1, 3-2, etc., but against an offensive team like the Hawks, two or three goals might not be enough to pick up two points.
I would expect that the team will have the same lineup that it did against the New York Islanders on Tuesday night, which means that Aaron Voros and Dan Fritsche will be the club’s scratches.
More importantly, the team has another incentive to win tonight’s tilt: their dads will be there.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: aaron+voros, chicago+blackhawks, cristobal+huet, dan+fritsche, joel+quenneville, jonathan+toews, martin+havlat, new+york+islanders, new+york+rangers, nikolai+khabibulin, patrick+kane, patrick+sharp, tom+renney
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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.