New York Rangers Go Duck Hunting Tonight
Added by Gregg Snyder on March 9, 2011.
First, prayers and well wishes go out to Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretti and his family. If you haven’t seen it yet, Pacioretti was checked into the glass partition by hulking Bruins’ defenseman Zdeno Chara, suffering a severe concussion and fractured vertebrae. Chara received a major penalty for interference and a game misconduct on the play, and the NHL concluded that no further disciplinary action would be taken.
Let’s all hope Max has a full and speedy recovery.
The Rangers are in Anaheim to take on the Ducks tonight. Though only in eleventh place in the West, the Ducks have seventy-five points in the standings. The competition in the Western Conference is superior to that in the Eastern Conference.
In fact, Anaheim would be in seventh in the East, and two other teams, Minnesota and Nashville, have even more points than the Ducks but aren’t among the top eight in the west. Don’t be fooled by the standings; the Ducks are a good team.
This should be a great game between two evenly matched teams, with each team’s special teams’ strength being the other team’s weakness. The Rangers need to avoid taking bad penalties, because Anaheim is deadly on the power play. Their power play percentage of 22% ranks them fourth in the NHL.
The Rangers come into tonight’s game ranked twentieth on the power play with a percentage of only 16.7%. New York has the edge in penalty killing though-11th best in the NHL compared to the 22nd best Ducks, and will need to be as sharp as ever on the kill against the likes of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, and Lubomir Visnovsky tonight.
The Ducks and Rangers are ranked fourth and sixth in fighting majors, with more than fifty fights per team. Heavy weight contender George Parros leads the league with twenty-three fights, while light heavy weight Brandon Prust leads all Rangers with fourteen.
These two teams play each other too infrequently for any bad blood to have developed, but with gamers like Prust and Parros in the lineup you never know.