A total of five games on the schedule this evening, each loaded with intrigue in its own special way. Our eyes are on the Pittsburgh Penguins as they head to New York riding a six game winning streak.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers 7:00 PM ET
Sidney Crosby is on fire. No. 87 leads Steven Stamkos in the NHL scoring race by one point, while in the midst of a 12-game scoring streak – in which he has 25 points. The Penguins will look to make it seven in a row, but the Rangers are playing some pretty decent hockey themselves. Let’s give it over to Ron Barr…
Pittsburgh Penguins: With a line-up that includes some of the best talent in the NHL, the Pittsburgh Penguins must still be considered as a favorite for the 2011 Stanley Cup. Gifted with awesome offensive wizardry, a talented blueline corps and a solid backstop, the Pens look to get back to the finals again this season. Sidney Crosby led the league in goal scoring a season ago, and he looks primed to make a run at the scoring title. His offensive skills are awesome – the best in the league. Use number 87 all over the ice at all times, he dominates the game and brings his teammates to the next level. Brooks Orpik is a solid defender with in-your-face checking skills and a passion for using his giant size to take the opposition out of the play. Evgeni Malkin has skating prowess that can take him effortlessly to the net. With fantastic moves and a reach that leaves defenders spinning, Malkin can do it all in the offensive zone. A great complement to Crosby, Malkin has eclipsed the 100-point mark twice . Use him to carry the puck up the ice. In fact, don’t be afraid to just shut line changes off and go for all-out domination with the Penguins’ superstars.
New York Rangers: The Rangers are a good mix of high flying scorers and grinders who play “in your face” hockey. The Rangers have a strong nucleus and talented role players, keeping them competitive in a tough division. Marian Gaborik has some of the slickest moves in the league. He’s a great scorer and skater who sees the whole ice really well. Partner Michael Del Zotto with a good passer so he can make use of his quick release and deadly shot. Marc Staal made a big splash with the Rangers during his rookie season. He is a good skater whose aggressive play is now known throughout the league. Use him against the best players on the other team and double shift him against divisional rivals. Henrik Lundqvist is one of the best goaltenders in the league, he’s one of the few that you can rely in your own end while still using auto-goalie – but don’t be afraid to take over with manual controls.
The Avery Factor
Super pest Sean Avery has been dropping the gloves at quite a clip lately, so naturally, a slappy fight rematch is on everyone’s mind:
Battle of the Blogs
Representing the visiting team, wearing black and gold, is the mighty Pensblog! We swear that Rick didn’t put us up to this. The Pensblog is one of the funniest blogs on the planet – a great source for breaking news, wrestling references, and envelope pushing humour.
Wearing red, white, and blue and fighting out of the home team corner is the popular SNYRangersBlog! The guys at SNYRangers are hard workers, pumping out everything that whispers ‘Rangers’ from all corners of the internet.
Prediction: The Penguins roll, winning their 7th in a row. 3-point night for Crosby. Tortorella will not like this.