After a long flight to the left coast, the Rangers are beginning a big swing through Cali, hitting all three teams. Tonight they face the Quack Attack in Anaheim at 10 p.m.
Where We Are: After a horrifying display against the Devils, the Rangers bounced back by beating the Carolina Hurricanes. It was yet another shootout victory for the Blueshirts, and one that certainly should not have gotten to extra time, much less the skills competition. But the Rangers defense was poor and the offence had trouble closing the deal, so Hank saved the Blueshirts yet again.
Where They Are: Anaheim has won three of their last four, with the loss being a tight 2-0 affair with the NHL-best San Jose Sharks (who will hammer us on Saturday). I watched their last game, a 4-2 win over Minnesota and they were pretty damn good themselves - they scored three goals on beautiful passing plays that the Wild defense was helpless to stop. That doesn't bode well now, does it?
Who To Watch For: Rookie Bobby Ryan has four points in his last four games while the other wunderkinds Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry continue to power the Flying V. Scott Niedermayer has always enjoyed beating on the Blueshirts and every Ranger has to watch out for Chris Pronger's elbows, those things are dangerous.
What To Watch For: The Rangers to use jet lag as an excuse for a sub-par defensive effort that lets the Ducks fly all over the ice and win by four or more goals. Or, a second straight superior performance by Henrik Lundvist that leads to New York's 10th shootout victory of the season.
What We'll (Hopefully) See: Nik Zherdev channeling a young Teemu Selanne, Brandon Dubinsky being more of a force than Getzlaf and Markus Naslund playing better than his formor pivot Brendan Morrison. Oh yeah, and Parros vs. Orr, Voros vs. May and Lundvist vs. Giguere - with the last one being the netminders trading off spectacular saves, rather than punches. But punches would be fun too ...
Also Check Out: MVN has On The Pond while the almighty Mirtle just picked up The Battle of California, but there is also the Girl With A Puck and the MSM Ducks blog at the Orange County Register.
As always, I recommend people check out Sam Weinman's Ranger Report for up-to-the-minute updates on our boys and the latest news on Avery and Sundin.