The Maven's Haven

  • Monday, January 28, 2013

    Mave's Saves: Flyers at Rangers Preview

    RANGERS RECORD: 2-3; FLYERS RECORD: 2-4.

    THEME: An ideal time to start a streak

    PLUS: New York boasts a truly dominating line. Rick Nash, Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik already have demonstrated that -- as a unit -- they can win games. Against the Maple Leafs they combined for three goals, five assists and no less than 16 shots on goal. The Blueshirts displayed persistence although frustrated through two periods. Their overall quality and patience paid off with a game-reversing third period blitz.

    MINUS: After the top line, the offense has been wanting. Second, third and fourth units have to be more productive.

    EVEN: Newcomer Benn Ferriero impressed John Tortorella with his fore-checking against Toronto. Big Benn got a dozen minutes of ice time. Ferreiro should grow in the Ryan Callahan manner. There seems to be an ability to return to Torts' muck and grind system.

    CHALLENGE: The power play needs fixing. Opportunities to turn a game in New York's favor have failed because of an inability to convert a man advantage into an advantage. That was evident in the last loss to Philly when a five-on-three went for naught.

    FAN COMMENT: From Jared Lane of Livingstone, New Jersey. "On Saturday night the Rangers showed signs of being the team that went to the Eastern Conference Final. That win should be the stepping stone to a streak."

    THREE KEYS TO STOPPING PHILADELPHIA:

    1. Shore up defensive coverage in front of the net. Don't allow the Flyers to out-muscle the D-men.

    2. Put lots and lots of pucks on just-average Flyers goalies. Point shots baffle Ilya Bryzgalov. Check out Gabby's goal vs. Toronto.

    3. Negate the Flyers productive captain, Claude Giroux.

    THREE MATCH-UPS TO WATCH:

    1. NASH-RICHARDS-GABORIK VS. BRAYDON COBURN-NIK GROSSMAN: Philly's top D-men erased the Blueshirts top line last time. Don't get burned by Coburn!

    2. HENRIK LUNDQVIST VS. ILYA BRYZGALOV: How come The King didn't beat a goalie who clearly is not in Henny's class? This time, Yes! Or, maybe.

    3. DEREK STEPAN VS. SEAN COURTRIER: Stepan has to step up. Then again the Flyers general staff is wondering when Sean will show up as expected.

    MAVEN'S RAVIN': Based on the surplus of Flyers injuries and the upbeat win the Rangers had over Toronto, Philly is a team to be taken. I'll be surprised if the Blueshirts disappoint this time.

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