Kukla's Korner

Goal Line Report

True Test for the Blueshirts

Just over a month into the season, the New York Rangers will have their toughest test of the young regular season campaign tonight at Madison Square Garden: the Boston Bruins.

The Bruins are just three points behind the Blueshirts and are coming off an impressive 6-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens. They’ve gotten strong play from guys like Phil Kessel (7 goals), former Ranger Marc Savard (17 points) and from their netminder Tim Thomas, who has a goals-against average of under two goals per game and a save percentage that is close to 95 percent.

It should also be noted that the B’s are tied for the fewest goals allowed, something that could impact the Rangers tonight who typically don’t score a lot of goals on Garden ice.

The Rangers’ offense will need to do what it did to the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night when it scored five goals, including four in a second period outburst. The team got contributions from Nikolai Zherdev (2), Chris Drury, Lauri Korpikoski and Michal Rozsival, showing the league that the team is no longer a one-line organization.

On the other side, the mighty B’s are averaging over three goals a game and are also showing the league that they have depth. With that said, what will be the key differentiator tonight?

The goaltenders.

Rangers’ netminder Henrik Lundqvist has been one of the best in the league this season and has given his team a chance to win in every game he has started. He’s 10-4-2 on the season with a 1.99 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.

Bruins’ goaltender Tim Thomas has been just as good, if not better, posting a 1.76 gaols-against average and a .946 save percentage.

The goaltender that blinks first tonight will be on the losing end of the stick. If you’re a Ranger fan, you better hope it’s not Lundqvist!

Key Note: Scott Gomez is listed as questionable for tonight with a lower body injury. If the Rangers want to match Boston’s high scoring attack, they will need to have a healthy Gomez.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: boston+bruins, chris+drury, henrik+lundqvist, lauri+korpikoski, michal+rozsival, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, nikolai+zherdev, phil+kessel, tim+thomas

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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.