Game 17 Preview: Rangers @ Canadiens

The Rangers travel to La Belle Provence to take on the Eastern Conference leading Les Habitants de Montreal.

The Blueshirts will battle the Canadiens and their sleep inducing brand of hockey without Michael Del Zotto (hip,) Marc Staal (flu,) Arron Asham (who cares?) and Rick Nash (concussion.)

Of course Nash doesn’t officially have a concussion from when he was elbowed behind the Boston net by completely clean, perennial Lady Bing candidate Milan Lucic. Nash has acording to his coach a “none of your business.” (No that “no nonsense” act isn’t wearing thin at all coach.) At some point, the Rangers will have to acknowledge that their new superstar is concussed. It will be interesting to see what they acknowledge first, that #61 is concussed or that their power play coach is a failure that needs to be fired. It is hard to fathom but Mike Sullivan makes Perry Pearn look like Toe Blake!

The Rangers O attack will be led by their best forward Carl Hagelin. The pretty Swede has been playing very well lately and seems to be the Blueshirts biggest threat at this point. Ryan Callahan and Derek Stepan are playing better of late and third period bench warmer Brad Richards is still on the team and has not been bought out yet.

The Rangers will look to fill the gaping hole in their offense with J.T. Miller, Chris Kreider and call-up, son of Stumpy, Christian Thomas. Having so much future in the lineup during the present is encouraging but also frightening. Torts doesn’t exactly seem like a coach suited for development of young offensive players, but maybe desperate offensive times (and this Rangers offense is desperate) call for desperate offensive measures. See: 2012 Playoffs, Kreider, Christopher.

Oh la la, 9th place!

Oh la la, 9th place!

The Rangers defense will actually feature Stu Bickel and Steve Emminger tonight. Yikes.

Henrik Lundqvist earns a well deserved rest and Martin Biron gets yet another chance to prove he can stop NHL shooters during game play, because he obviously can’t during shootouts.

This game will be markedly different from the highly forgettable bore-fest at MSG last week. The Canadiens should look to run and gun a bit with Lundqvist on the bench and the Rangers D decimated. This may actually help the Blueshirts if the coach lets the young horses loose. Lets hope the Canadiens are too busy licking their collective chops to notice the Rangers youngsters. Maybe the NYR all get out of their own heads and just play. Hey one can hope, right?

Yup. Still here.

Yup. Still here.

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