Pre-Game NY Islanders Vs. NY Rangers 2/7/13
Tonight's game against the NY Rangers at Madison Square Garden (photo credit: jsr7/flickr) is a must win if the NY Islanders plan to keep their place in the standings. Currently the Isles are in third place in the Atlantic Division followed by the Rangers in fourth.
The Islanders are 4-4-1 for 9 points, and the Rangers are 4-5-1 with the Islanders having one game in hand. No matter what the standings, these two teams loathe each other. The fans also hate each other, and at times fights break out in the stands more often than on the ice.
(photo credit:Pekka Rautiainen/flickr)
The Rangers have been missing their captain Ryan Callahan with a dislocated shoulder. According to NY Rangers official website, he may return for tonight's game. This will be a major plus for the Rangers as Callahan is such in integral part of the team, not only on the ice, but in the locker room as well.
The Rangers have some other issues as they scratched Dan Girardi against the NJ Devils on Tuesday night, sighting the defense man as “banged up”. Hmmm, Is that a technical term? I guess we will find out how banged up he is tonight. The team also signed Jason Arnott to a one year deal last week, but he did not pass the physical. Sighting health issues the Rangers promptly voided his contract.
The Islanders started the season ready to play and they were looking great. However, the last two games versus NJ and Pittsburgh, they seemed to have lost something. Their special teams were looking great, but now have lost their edge going 0-14 on the PP in the last two games.
Jack Capuano has made a line change, putting Brad Boyes on the first line with Moulson and Tavares and moving Okpsoso to the second line with Grabner ad Nielsen. I am not sure what is going on with Okposo. Inconsistent comes to mind as sometimes his presence is felt and other times he seems to become part of the woodwork. (phot credit: Chris Lukowski/Flickr)
What it comes down to is if the Isles show up and can manage to play a full 60 minutes they can beat this Ranger team. Special teams must get back on track and secondary scoring has to play a part overall.
Let's Go Islanders!!
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