For several reasons, tonight’s game against Montreal has me pretty concerned that the Rangers’ 7-game win-streak is about to end. Let’s get right into it, shall we?
1: What Goes Up Must Come Down
7 game win streaks are rare, especially if you’re a team like the Rangers who has good-not-great scoring ability. Eventually there will be a game where the defense is fine and Hank plays well, but the goals just dry up. It’s inevitable, especially if they keep playing games where only 1 of the lines is generating chances. There are 2 players on the Canadiens that have me thinking tonight could be the night the Rangers fall back to earth.
2: Carey Price
Price is the type of goalie that gives the Rangers absolute fits. He’s big and super athletic, and most games will make at least 1 save on a shot that would’ve been a goal against a lesser net-minder (other examples: Marc-Andre Fleury kills them; Cam Ward, last game aside, has a career save percentage of about .998% against the Rangers; Jon Quick, who seems to never give anything up against them). The Rangers only generate a few quality scoring chances per game, and if Price can make a stop on 1 or 2 of them it may decide the game, not to mention if the Rangers happen to just miss some of those chances on their own.
3: Max Pacioretty
Pacioretty is another type of player that kills the Rangers. He’s big, powerful, skilled, and a natural scorer. No Marc Staal makes Pacioretty especially dangerous in this game, since he’d normally be in charge of shutting down Pacioretty or maybe Camallerri. Right now, Pacioretty has 9 goals on the year and the Habs are on a bit of a hot streak of their own. Girardi’s been a stud this year, but if #67 gets rolling for Montreal he is a load to handle no matter how good of a d-man you are. I, for one, will be terrified whenever he gets the puck.
4. The Rangers are Miserable in Montreal
I don’t know the numbers because I’m lazy and frankly I didn’t start this for fun to do research, but I think the Rangers have like 2 or 3 wins in their last 10 games in Montreal. They don’t play well up there and it’s hard to pinpoint why (Theory: Montreal is a fucking awesome city. It is incredibly fun to go out up there, and if you’re a hockey player there’s no better place to meet a puck bunny than Montreal. Guys are a little less focused on the game when they’re up there, so they may come in a little less focused.). Hopefully the team is a little mentally stronger this year due to roster chemistry and Brad Richards’ leadership, and they can get past their problems at the Bell Centre. I hate that they spell it “Centre.”
5. Penalties and PK Subban
NHL players hate PK Subban. He gets on their nerves, and he’s really, really good on top of it. The Rangers have been taking a ton of penalties, less so lately but still an ugly total. Subban is the type of guy who could really get under the team’s skin. If he does and the Rangers spend too much time in the box, that spells loss even if the penalty kill is outstanding again. He’s another one to keep an eye on.
So that’s it. I don’t feel great about this game for those reasons, plus I’m a naturally negative person. I approach these things with a shitty attitude and expect the worst (which I suppose is the Mets’ and Jets’ fault) so why treat the Rangers differently? Also, God isn’t real, all that awaits us after death is rotting for eternity in the ground, and the Twilight movie made over $1 Billion this weekend.
Good Times! Everyone enjoy the game, and hopefully I’m wrong. Especially about the Twilight thing.