Thursday, January 19, 2006

Game #47 - vs Rangers

New York Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins

New York - 25-14-7 - 57 pts - 5th in East
Pittsburgh - 11-26-9 - 31 pts - Last in East

Back to the grind in the Eastern Conference. The Pens have finished up their games against the West until next season. Like everything else this year, they weren't very successful.

With Palffy's retirement, Koltsov will fill the open spot on the top line. I'm not sure how good that is, given the way that the puck seems to avoid Koltsov's stick, but now is Konstatin's time to shine. That line will be blazing fast, that's for sure.

The Rangers have lost two in a row, including Monday night at Columbus. Their power play has been weak lately, going 2 for 31 in their last seven games. Jagr was held scoreless as well on Monday. All of this does not bode well for the Penguins, given their ability to make even the worst offensive clubs look like dynamos. I can't think of a better situation for the Rangers to break out of their slump. Maybe I'm being too negative.

When Petr Prucha has the puck for the Rangers, get ready for a shot. He has only six assists to go with 21 goals and a shooting percentage over 26%!! He doesn't always get a lot of shots, but he's one to be aware of.

Petr Sykora has four points in four games, and is +3, since being acquired from the Mighty Ducks. It's been a little while since he's been in the East, but he has always been a decent contributor.

Michal Rozsival is a wonder in New York so far. He leads the Rangers in average time on ice (over 22 minutes per game) and plus / minus. I'm not sure why the Pens gave up on him, but he sure would look good on our blue line right now, wouldn't he?

The Pens and Rangers have split their four games this season, and the Pens have generally played well against the Rangers (heck, if they won two games against any team this year, we'd have to say they're doing really well against them, right?). Fleury should be in goal tonight, given that he is staying in town for the rest of the season.

Let's go Pens!

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