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Game Preview: Running From the Law

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Next Game

Winnipeg Jets
@ New York Rangers

Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012, 7:00 PM EST
Madison Square Garden

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Another dominant game, another disappointing loss. I have to give credit to Arby's point in response to the previous matchup with the Hurricanes, that this team does not exhibit extraordinary finishing ability. We are in the bottom third of the league in terms of 5v5 shooting percentage (at 7.5%), so as fans we should ask ourselves if we think this is truly a 7.5% shooting team. To be honest, this isn't extraordinarily below average league-wise, so I'd hesitate to say we are much better - that said, regression to the mean and all that fun stuff suggests that if we continue to put 30 to 40 shots on goal, we will still generate enough offence to win games.

All the more reason to be at least a little optimistic going into the Ranger game. We are a good possession team that has been a bit unfortunate. We encounter a #1 team in the New York Rangers that has a very high PDO (1028) with a team that's good, but probably not quite that good. On the flip side, their possession game has steadily improved since the beginning of the Carl Hagelin Era, particularly in the area of offence, so our hope comes more on the end of Henrik Lundqvist not maintaining his sensational goaltending (for one night, please Henrik?). I guess it's not all bad, for our potential area of regression to match theirs, but King Henrik is one of the few without-a-doubt top-tier goaltenders in the league.

Keys to the game and lineups after the jump.

Keys to the Game

  • Let's continue the shot barrage. As mentioned above, our best bet is to continue to put shots on and eventually the bounces will go our way. The Rangers aren't frightening defensively, outside of Lundqvist.
  • Though the Rangers are 6th in the league in penalty minutes, they're 20th in minor penalties - a lot of their time is due to truculence. We, on the other hand, are 5th in the league in minor penalties. You get the picture. If you don't...stay out of the box.
  • Offensively, the Rangers have a lot of weapons spread out across their lines, which makes them difficult to match up against. We might want to lean a bit more on our top two and maybe our 4th line (despite how tired they might be), and not so much on GST.

Lineups

Jets (GP 49 22-21-6 50 PTS)

Forwards

#8 Alexander Burmistrov -- #18 Bryan Little -- #26 Blake Wheeler

#16 Andrew Ladd -- #80 Nik Antropov -- #13 Kyle Wellwood

#15 Tanner Glass -- #19 Jim Slater -- #22 Chris Thorburn

#17 Eric Fehr -- #28 Patrice Cormier -- #20 Antti Miettinen

Defencemen

#39 Tobias Enstrom -- #6 Ron Hainsey

#29 Johnny Oduya -- #4 Zach Bogosian

#5 Mark Stuart -- #12 Randy Jones

Goaltender

#31 Ondrej Pavelec

This lineup has put together three extraordinary games in a row, and I'd hope that Claude Noel recognizes that. I'd also hope Noel would give Flood a chance with Stu, but I don't think that'll happen.

Rangers (GP 46 30-12-4 64 PTS)

Forwards

#17 Brandon Dubinsky -- #19 Brad Richards -- #24 Ryan Callahan

#62 Carl Hagelin -- #21 Derek Stepan -- #10 Marian Gaborik

#26 Ruslan Fedotenko -- #22 Brian Boyle -- #8 Brandon Prust

#71 Mike Rupp -- #34 John Mitchell -- #42 Artem Anisimov

Defencemen

#27 Ryan McDonagh -- #5 Dan Girardi

#18 Marc Staal -- #4 Michael Del Zotto

#41 Stu Bickel -- #32 Anton Stralman

Goaltender

#30 Henrik Lundqvist

This is a dangerous lineup offensively. Anisimov would be on one of our top 2 lines.

Player to boo mercilessly: Bickel, because he's obviously there for one reason. Oh who am I kidding, Jets fans will probably boo Gaborik and Richards, who will make them eat crow when they score a hat trick and playmaker, respectively.

Prediction: 4-2 Rangers. I'm not an optimist.

uh...go Jets go?