by Patrick Hoffman on 01/19/11 at 10:29 AM ET
With the New York Rangers having dropped three of their last four games all by one goal, the time has come for the team to start putting the puck in the net at the right time.
The team will get the chance to do that tonight when they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs in an original six matchup at Madison Square Garden.
The Blueshirts need to come out and be offensive and aggressive for a full 60 minutes rather than just the last period of the hockey game, which was the case in back-to-back losses this weekend to the Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers. Had the team played the way they did in the third period on both nights, we could easily be talking about a three game winning streak.
According to Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants, it appears that to get the most out of his team’s offense, Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella tinkered with the lines a bit in yesterday’s practice:
Ruslan Fedotenko-Artem Anisimov-Marian Gaborik
Brandon Dubinsky-Brian Boyle-Brandon Prust
Wojtek Wolski-Derek Stepan-Mats Zuccarello
Sean Avery-Kris Newbury-Chris Drury/Dale Weise
Also, slight alteration in the defense pairs as Matt Gilroy and Steve Eminger are switched:
Marc Staal-Dan Girardi
It will be interesting to see how Gaborik plays with Anisimov and Fedotenko as Gaborik needs to find a way to start putting the puck in the net. He has not been able to do so at a consistent rate this season and was even benched for part of the third period in Sunday night’s 3-2 loss to the Flyers.
One line that should be able to generate plenty of scoring opportunities is the Wolski, Stepan and Zuccarello. All three players are creative with the puck and all have offensive instincts.
Hopefully, the Rangers will be able to come away with two points tonight as the next three games against the Carolina Hurricanes (tomorrow night), Atlanta Thrashers (Saturday night) and Washington Capitals (Monday night) are all going to be tough games.
A win tonight against the Leafs may put the team back in the right direction in the Eastern Conference Standings.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: andrew+gross, artem+anismov, atlanta+thrashers, carolina+hurricanes, derek+stepan, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, mats+zuccarello, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ranger+rants, ruslan+fedotenko, toronto+maple+leafs, washington+capitals, wojtek+wolski
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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.
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