Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

Struggling Blackhawks Visit Blueshirts

The New York Rangers, one of the league’s hottest teams right now, will take on a struggling Chicago Blackhawks hockey club tonight at Madison Square Garden.

The Blackhawks have lost nine straight games and are currently struggling in all areas of their game. They are not scoring goals like they used to, not playing tight defense and getting wildly inconsistent goaltending from both Corey Crawford and Ray Emery.

On the other end, the Blueshirts come into tonight’s tilt having won four straight games. In their most recent game, which was on Tuesday night in Boston against the Boston Bruins, the team got a 42-save shutout performance from their netminder Henrik Lundqvist in a 3-0 victory.

For the Rangers, a game like tonight’s might actually be considered a “trap” game. The Rangers have won four straight, are one of the best team’s in the NHL, have played well at home and will be facing a team that is at the other end of the spectrum right now.

With that in mind, the Blueshirts will need to make sure they get off to a strong start in the game. The Rangers’ still need to find ways to generate offense on a more consistent basis. When this Rangers’ team scores first, they usually end up winning hockey games so it will be important for the club to do that tonight.

After tonight, the Rangers will be back in action on Sunday night at MSG to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets at 8:00 p.m. Should the Rangers win tonight, they will head into that game on a five game winning streak getting set to take on the league’s worst team in the Blue Jackets.

For now, it would be best for the Blueshirts to win tonight’s trap game.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: boston+bruins, chicago+blackhawks, columbus+blue+jackets, corey+crawford, henrik+lundqvist, new+york+rangers, ray+emery

Comments

DrewBehr's avatar

Bet they wish they would have kept Niemi…

Posted by DrewBehr from The Mitten on 02/16/12 at 06:10 PM ET

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I wouldn’t call it a trap game. More like bang, bang you’re dead. When they are on the Rangers try to force the issue in the opposing zone, banging into everyone who moves led by Callahan. In their zone they’ll block any puck that moves south. Even though they are not the toughest bunch in the league they lead the league in both fights and I think hits too. The only team that has made them look bad this year because of their speed up front is believe it or not Montreal at least up there. Biron is not as sharp as Henrik—who is?—but he’s better handling the puck and it will come out of the zone faster. If the Hawks go at top speed as in their salad days and play the full 60 minutes, they can steal it.

Posted by prole30 from Israel on 02/16/12 at 06:52 PM ET

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About Goal Line Report

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 patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com.