Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Beware of the Sneaky Penguins

Many people are saying that the N.H.L. got their wish with the Pittsburgh Penguins taking on the New York Rangers in round two. I would have to disagree with that. Having Rangers-Montreal and Pittsburgh (with Sidney Crosby) versus Washington (with Alex Ovechkin) would probably maximize ratings – especially if you could then have the Penguins and Rangers face off in the conference finals.

Regardless, the Rangers take on a much tougher opponent in the second round than they did in the first. These are some of what I think are a few really interesting sidebars to this series:

  • The fans unrelenting booing of former Penguin Jaromir Jagr in Pittsburgh’s Mellon Arena.
  • Jarkko Ruutu has had some brutal hits on Jagr (particularly at the 2006 Winter Games). Do the Rangers have an answer for Ruutu?
  • How will vets like Gary Roberts respond to Sean Avery and will he be able to convince the other players to not react to Avery's antics?
  • The goaltending. How will Marc-Andre Fleury play? If the Rangers are going to win, Henrik Lundqvist is going to have to step up his game. He was good against New Jersey, but he’s going to need to be great against the mighty Pittsburgh offense.
  • The awful play of Marian Hossa while with the Atlanta Thrashers last year in the playoffs against New York; could he use that as motivation in seeking redemption?
  • Marc Staal (Rangers) vs. Jordan Staal (Pens). Probably won't be brothers in arms during this series, now will they Mark Knopfler?
  • Pascal Dupuis had a very small cup of coffee with New York last season (six games).
  • Petr Sykora had a bigger cup of coffee with the Rangers in 2005-06 (40 games).
  • A few wrestling references: Can you smell what Laraque (as in Georges) is cookin’? Also, I heard that they play on the video screen a clip of wrestler Mr. Kennedy screaming “Mr. Kennedy!” whenever rookie Tyler Kennedy scores. That could get annoying…


Anonymous said...

Lots of great remarks!!!! I think overall the game is going to be incredibly intense. The NY Rangers should definitely worry about the Penguin's offense but I think the NY Rangers have one of NHL's greatest goalies so it might play out well!!!! Hey if you want to discuss it more join me here:

Let's go Rangers!!!!

Sean G. Kilkelly said...

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

I will check out your site!