Saturday, October 30, 2010
W2W4: Rangers vs. Leafs
By Mike Hume
The Rangers will look to regroup Saturday when they travel to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs. After falling Friday to the Carolina Hurricanes the Rangers have now followed their three-game winning streak with a pair of losses. Here are three keys to keep an eye on when the Blueshirts battle the Leafs for the third time this young season.
Roll Hank The Tank? Martin Biron was a little shaky last start, but he was impressive when he faced the Leafs earlier this season, earning a 2-1 win. Meanwhile, Henrik Lundqvist is, well, Henrik Lundqvist.
But coming into the season the plan was to tone down the King’s work load to keep him a little fresher late in the year. In my opinion one shoddy showing by Biron isn’t enough to back off that plan. The Rangers don’t need to force Lundqvist into back-to-back starts.
Keep Firing The Blueshirts pelted Carolina’s Cam Ward with 43 shots last night, but Ward was locked in and turned away just enough to claim the win. John Tortorella’s crew shouldn’t be dissuaded by the end result though. If the Rangers can keep generating that high volume of shots, not all goaltenders will be as lucky/good as Ward.
Killed by the Penalty Kill The Rangers have the fifth-worst penalty kill in the league and it burned them again twice Friday night. Fortunately for the Blueshirts, the Leafs haven’t been particularly adept with the man-advantage (12.8 percent). Still, New York needs to crack down on its PK troubles soon. Tonight is as good a time as any to get started in the right direction.