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Big Showdown Tomorrow Vs. Caps

11/16/09

Anybody else pumped for Tuesday night’s game against Washington? I think it’s going to be a thriller, should match up to the playoff series and will hopefully be as exciting as New York’s 4-3 win in Washington earlier this year. But in order for that to happen, the Rangers are going to have to find the net more than once.

The win on Saturday against Ottawa was a solid team effort, but Henrik had to be nearly perfect just to keep the Blueshirts in the game. Sure enough, he was and P.A. Parentaeu’s shootout goal was enough for another two points. No doubt the injuries to Dubinsky and even Drury hurt the team’s offensive flow, but I think it’s more a lack of this team having the firepower to finish.

Obviously this Rangers team goes as Gaborik goes, much like the Caps and Ovechkin, but someone needs to step up. Higgins, Dubinsky, Callahan, Lisin, Avery. These are the guys that need to start putting some pucks in the nets. I’m not saying they need to be 30 goal scorers, but they need to contribute something.

Maybe signing somebody or making a move would help (Forsberg comes to mind if he’s healthy), but as of right now I just don’t think this team has enough firepower. They need to start getting grinder goals, but they don’t seem to be willing physically for the most part. Unless that changes, and the culture of this team changes, it could be a long haul offensively.

I don’t like that the Rangers are playing the Caps in the midst of an offensive slump. This feels much more like the playoff series a year ago where Henrik can’t give up two goals or the Rangers will lose. Maybe the Caps soft defense is the answer, but I don’t like New York’s chances in this one.

-Mike Valvano

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