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CANUCKS HOCKEY BLOG

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Game Day Preview: Rangers at Canucks

I know it's been a while since I last checked in here so, first and foremost, I hope everyone has had a good start to 2008 and I wish everyone the best of the year to come.

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I'm very much looking forward to tonight's game against the Rangers. It's been five years since we last saw the Blueshirts in town and there's a group of 20 of us attending this game. No doubt it's gonna be a good one.

I was chatting briefly with a colleague of mine today - actually, I also worked with him at GM Place when I worked there - and we talked about how much of a rivalry the Canucks truly have with the Rangers. I don't know whether I'm in the majority or minority of Canucks fans, but I don't like the Rangers for the plain and simple fact that they won the Stanley Cup against the 'Nucks. 1994 was of course a long time ago, but I, for one, have never forgotten it. When I went to Madison Square Garden a few years ago, the usher made sure to point out the Stanley Cup banner on the rafters. I had told him that I was from Vancouver and I believe his exact words were, "Thanks for that" (pointing to the banner). I realize the Canucks/Rangers rivalry isn't on the same level as say the Canucks/Flames or even the Canucks/Leafs one, but I think it's a noteworthy one.

The Rangers are coming into tonight's game hoping to snap an 0-4-1 winless skid against Western Conference teams. They lost just last night to the Flames so no doubt they'll be a tad pissed off. I know Sean Avery is - he got a diving penalty and a 10-minute misconduct at the tail end of that game. (By the way, any Mary Kate Olsen or Elisha Cuthbert sightings around town yet?)

The Canucks are coming off a 2-1 New Year's Eve loss to the same Calgary Flames. Don't look back now, but the Flames are only a point behind the 'Nucks in the Northwest Division standings

At first glance, the Canucks and the Rangers seem polar opposites. The Rangers boast an impressive lineup up front with Jaromir Jagr, Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, Brendan Shanahan and Martin Straka, but they have a not-so-well-known group in the back end led by former Canuck, Marek Malik. The Canucks, well, while deeper on defense, just don't have the same firepower up front.

Or do they?

It sounds crazy, but in the first half of the season, the Canucks are actually averaging more goals per game than the Rangers (2.60 to 2.42) and even with them on the powerplay (18.0%). True, the Rangers are among the league leaders in shots on goal - the Canucks are dead-last - but that's about as much of a difference the Canucks and Rangers forwards have.

Why the Canucks will win tonight:
  • Sean Avery brings bad karma wherever he goes.
  • Mike Brown will kick Sean Avery's ass.
  • Mason Raymond will score his first career hat-trick.
More from today's MSM:

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Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 8:08 PM

1 Comments:

At January 03, 2008 2:29 PM, Anonymous NYRFAN said...

Great blog! I run a New York rangers blog and just setup a link to your sight in prep for tonight's game. Check it out: http://nyrangersblog.blogspot.com/

 

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