Thursday, October 20, 2011
W2W4: Rangers vs. Flames
By Mike Hume
The Rangers look to turn their first win into their first win streak Thursday night in Calgary. Here are a few factors to keep your eye on when the Blueshirts skate into the Saddledome.
Say No to the Sin Bin
The Rangers have been patronizing the penalty box with disturbing regularity in the season's early going. Even after recognizing the problem the Rangers racked up 31 PIMs against the Vancouver Canucks Tuesday night.
Head coach John Tortorella sent a message that enough is enough when he benched Brandon Prust for part of the Vancouver game after Prust took a holding the stick penalty in the offensive zone. The move was particularly notable considering Prust is usually one of Tortorella's top examples of guys who play the game the way the coach preaches it. It will be interesting to see if anyone invokes the ire of Torts tonight.
Fleeing the Flames
Tim Erixon was Calgary's top prospect when he, allegedly, forced a trade out of town and into Manhattan. You can imagine how such a scenario would fill an arena full of red-sweatered Flames fans with all kinds of warm and fuzzy feelings. Look for him to receive a warm welcome back.
Calgary has not been able to muster many shots in their first five games, which could be a big help to the injury-depleted Ranger D. The Flames have averaged just 23.6 shots on goal per game thus far, the third lowest total in the NHL. Of course, the Rangers sport a league-worst mark of 22.8 per game, so here's hoping you like watching the intricacies of neutral zone play.