Rinne played yesterday, but Anders Lindback played the final two periods, so this is really anyone's guess.
#35 / Goalie / Nashville Predators
Nov 03, 1982
|2010 - Pekka Rinne||15||877||6||6||36||2.46||430||394||.916||2|
David Legwand is, as of publishing time, on injured reserve, so I'll assume he's still out tonight. Matthew Lombardi, obviously, remains out with a concussion.
Tootoo - Smithson - Ward
New York Rangers
Henrik Lundqvist started last night against the Panthers, so don't be surprised to see backup Martin Biron tonight.
#43 / Goalie / New York Rangers
Aug 15, 1977
|2010 - Martin Biron||8||447||5||2||16||2.15||193||177||.917||0|
When you consider that the Rangers are actually missing captain Chris Drury and last year's 2nd best point scorer Vinny Prospal, this is actually a pretty deep squad.
Fedotenko - Boyle - Callahan (A)
Before tonight's game, I was able to chat with one of the more prominent Rangers' bloggers, Scotty Hockey. Here's what he had to say on the Rangers and their season to date:
The best way to sum up the Ranger season to date is to call itinconsistent. It is quite maddening to watch a team look so good onsome nights and so horrible on others but it makes sense. Despitemanagement's claims that the team is not rebuilding, this is indeed arebuilding season in New York. The franchise is trying to put togethera team that will contend for the Cup when the renovations are finishedin MSG - about two, three years from now. The first generation of therebuilding Rangers is getting important minutes and are acquittingthemselves well while most of the next generation is gestating in theAHL (Evgeny Grachev, Ryan McDonagh and Pavel Valentenko), juniors(Dylan McIlrath, Christian Thomas and Ryan Bourque) and the NCAA (CarlHagelin).The current kids have had to be alright as many of the vets have beenhurt with Gaborik, Drury, Prospal and Rozsival all missing numerousgames. Callahan, Dubinsky, Staal and Girardi have become the leadersand the crutch that carries the team night after night. Brian Boylehas learned to skate and play within his limitations, keeping thingssimple and just shooting when he gets a chance - a change that haspaid off in goal after goal. Perhaps the biggest issue with the teamis the netminding - odd to say when you have someone like HenrikLundqvist but true. When Hank is in net the team all-but-abandons him;they don't block shots, they don't get into passing lanes, they aren'tas physical and they take more stupid penalties. But when the backupMarty Biron is in, they tighten up faster than Bettman's sphincterwhen Sean Avery steps to a microphone. Hank has allowed more softgoals and has not dominated the way he used to so, while there islittle chance that the journeyman will supplant the Swede (as youNashville folks are used to), Biron is getting increased action asHank tries to regain his magic. Once he does and the guys in front ofhim play the same smart, tough way they do with Biron in back, thenthe team will be very dangerous.
- While I'll be the first to tell you things need to be fixed, and now, the Predators' situation just isn't as dire as it seems. With sixty one games left to play, they are just six points off the conference lead. The sky isn't falling, people. If the team still can't win consistently when David Legwand and Matthew Lombardi return, then lets talk. Until then, wait it out.
- As I mentioned, the Rangers are a deep and competitive squad, and one I think could be a dark horse in the East. They have 25 points, and have done much of the work without Marian Gaborik, Chris Drury, and Vinny Prospal. Brandon Dubinsky leads the way with 19 points, but surprise contributor Brian Boyle has 10 goals. Much like Nashville, the Rangers get scoring from all over the lineup.
- The power play burst to life against Minnesota, scoring twice. They failed to notch one on the man advantage, but hopefully it was a sign of things to come. Martin Erat finally scored, and you hope that that too will be the beginning of great things. You can't put much stock in hope, though, so the Preds need to do like the state of Missouri would and show us.
- New York averages almost 3 goals per game. Nashville has to have a defensive performance completely opposite from the one yesterday afternoon, where everyone from Shea Weber to Alexander Sulzer played the puck instead of the body.
- Please win.