Friday, November 21, 2008

Peepin' Foes: Ottawa Senators

In the back half of a almost home-and-home with the Senators, the Rangers will be in Ottawa on Saturday. For those not paying attention, the Blueshirts beat the Sens 2-1 in a boring shootout on Monday. The Senators were tired and the Rangers were uninspired, leading to a dull couple of periods, a few minutes of excitement, then five listless minutes of overtime before a shootout. But the Rangers won, so yay! Maybe they can do it again at 3 pm tomorrow.

Where We Are: The Rangers are coming off one of the most embarrassing beatings they have taken since last season. But they are still in first place, wooo! It won't last unless they bounce back in a big way. Michal Rozsival, who sucked against the Sens, was even worse against Canucks and has the most to prove both to his teammates and the fans.

Where They Are: Ottawa has lost six in a row, including the last two in a shootout. First there was blowing a 1-0 lead to lose to the Rangers, then Thursday they lost the lead twice on their way to losing in the fourth round of the shootout to Montreal. The Sens gave the Habs just one power play in the game, which they scored on. With the Ranger power play being what it is, Ottawa's discipline may prove to be a good thing.

Who To Watch For: Young defenseman Alexandre Picard stepped up his game against Montreal and collected to assists. Spezza, Heatley and Alfredsson are still incredible and all were strong; Heatley scored in regulation and Spezza scored in the shootout.

What To Watch For: Ottawa's Mike Fisher and Chris Neil are both out with injury so there will be some new kids out trying to make names for themselves. Without a designated goon, Cody Bass battled Steve Begin in Montreal so who knows who will answer the bell when the Rangers come ringing for Jarkko Ruutu, because you know sure as hell that Ruutu won't. The Sens will have four straight days off after the afternoon tilt so they may make a huge effort, knowing they have time to relax afterwards.

What We'll (Hopefully) See: The Rangers coming out of the locker room flying, their defense a smooth, puck moving wall and Ruutu getting what he deserves.

Also Check Out: Sens Army and SENSHobo.

As always, I recommend people check out Sam Weinman's Ranger Report for up-to-the-minute updates on our boys.

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