Friday, November 27, 2009

Peepin' Foes: Tampa Bay Lightning

The Florida swing continues on Friday as the Rangers attempt to weather the Lightning in Tampa - 7:30 on MSG Plus.

Where We Are: Well, heck, it appears we are on a winning streak. How about that?

Where They Are: Tampa has just one win in their last four games and are coming off of a 4-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Oh, the shame, the horror, the sadness. Rick Tocchet has them playing some attacking hockey and the Bolts just happen to be 5-1-4 at home.

Who To Watch For: No, Marek Malik is no longer with them. He went back to the Czech league, is playing with first place HC Vítkovice and has four assists in eight games (and, of course is +3). I've seen Stamkos this season and he looks nothing like the meek rookie we faced last season. And, let's face it, he scored himself one helluva goal the other day. Our old friend Ryan Malone has been red hot, while the tag team of Vinny04 and Little Marty are still around.

What To Watch For: The Rangers to rest on their laurels of two wins in a row. Wade Redden dashing our dreams and playing. Who comes out of the lineup for Ales Kotalik, especially as Voros and Brash may be called upon to counter Zenon Konopka. If Antero Niittymaki starts, then we may have ourselves a rematch between 2006 Olympic gold medal goaltenders. But I don't see why Valley shouldn't play with two games against the Penguins coming up.

What We'll (Hopefully) See: No Redden. Chris Higgins and Ryan Callahan to put the damned puck in the net - go to your home, don't you like your home? Someone hammer Steve Downie the way he cheap shots everyone else. Gabby to evade his former Wild teammate Stephane Veilleux to keep up his sensational scoring. Voros/Malone III.

Also Check Out: The Hockey Bay, the MSM Lightning Strikes and SBN's Raw Charge are worth checking out.

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