by Patrick Hoffman on 10/05/11 at 02:00 PM ET
With the New York Rangers set to take on the Los Angeles Kings for their first regular season game on Friday afternoon, I figured now would be a good time to provide a bit of a scouting report.
- Jonathan Quick is an extremely agile netminder: Quick can go from post-to-post very quickly and while doing so, be in the right position to stop a shot
- Quick struggles with traffic: When there is plenty of traffic in front of the net, Quick tends to struggle a bit. The Rangers should use the points to throw puck towards Quick and crash the net for rebounds. The club should also put a few big bodies in front of Quick.
- Get to Quick early: If the Rangers can get a few goals on him early on, the team might be able to throw Quick off his game.
- Watch Out for the open ice: With the European rink, the Kings will be sure to use the open ice to their advantage with players like Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Mike Richards, Jarret Stoll, Justin Williams and a few others.
- Good on the forecheck: This season, the Kings are sure to be much better at getting the puck deep and forechecking. Richards is a great forechecker as are players like Brown, Stoll and Penner.
- More Depth: The Kings will be able to roll three solid offensive lines this season so the Rangers need to be prepared to match them line for line.
- Young: The Kings have a very young defensive corps. The Blueshirts should try and create pressure early and forecheck hard to help create turnovers.
- Can Move the Puck: Guys like Drew Doughty, Jack Johnson, Matt Greene, Rob Scuderi and Alec Martinez know how to move the puck out of their own end. With the larger ice, the Ranges need to be on their toes and watch out for the long outlet passes.
- Physical: The club’s defense can be physical at times. With that said, their physicality sometimes creates open space on the ice for opponents.
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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.