by Patrick Hoffman on 10/18/11 at 10:00 AM ET
That has to be the New York Rangers’ motto this week as they begin their four-game Wester Canada road trip tonight with a tilt against the Vancouver Canucks.
Just their fourth game of the season, tonight’s match will be a test for the Blueshirts. The Vancouver Canucks are obviously an extremely talented team that knows how to put the puck in the net.
The Rangers are going to have to be able to show some offense tonight and for them, that could be tough considering what kind of start they off to. Offensively, the team has scored just 5 goals in three games and with the depth that the team has, that needs to improve going forward.
With that said, in order to increase their offense, the team will also need to do everything they can to stay out of the penalty box. Time and time again on Saturday night against the Islanders, the team would take a careless or needless penalty, squashing any kind of offensive momentum.
Speaking of momentum, that is all the Rangers’ No.1 line of Derek Stepan-Brad Richards-Marian Gaborik created on Saturday night. They generated several good scoring chances and looked like they had a lot of chemistry. If Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella is smart, he will give this line another chance to succeed tonight in Vancouver.
Defensively, the team will obviously need to keep the likes of the Sedin twins (14 points combined), Alex Burrows (4 points), Ryan Kesler (returning from an injury), and Chris Higgins (yes, the former Ranger; has 4 points on the season). It will more than likely be an extremely busy night for Blueshirts defenseman Daniel Girardi, who has been terrific so far this seasn.
In goal, it will be interesting to see who the Canucks start. Starter Roberto Luongo is off to a slow start (1-1-1, 3.61 goals against average, and a .871 save percentage) while back-up netminder Cory Schneider has been solid (1-1, 2.03 goals against average, and a .935 save percentage).
More than likely, the Rangers will go with Henrik Lundqvist, who has been great so far for the Blueshirts. He better be prepared to have a busy night because the Canucks’ offense know how to pepper opposing netminders.
It should be a great hockey game and one that the Rangers need to win to get on the winning track.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: alex+burrows, brad+richards, cory+schneider, daniel+girardi, daniel+sedin, derek+stepan, henrik+lundqvist, henrik+sedin, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, roberto+luongo, ryan+kesler, vancouver+canucks
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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.