[SBN Rangers blog - Blueshirt Banter]
It's really a shame Matt Cooke can't be around for this one. On one hand I think he already answered for his actions in the latter part of Saturday's game when he and Ryan Callahan threw down in the third period. However I also feel as if playing in front of the Rangers faithful at MSG would've only fueled his fire (and maybe taken a bit of heat off some of the top guns).
But probably not. Even though Sean Avery went for Crosby's head the other day - an interesting situation where Sid actually ducked out of the way and sent Avery tumbling to the ice - expect NYC fans to have their diving chants and "Crosby sucks" cheers going strong.
The Rangers are 2-3 on home ice for the month of November and can close that out at .500 with a win. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, are 3-5 on the road this month.
Expect Henrik Lundqvist tonight. It won't show on the injury report, but I suspect Stephen Valiquette is out with a bruised ego. There's a reason why he didn't start a game against Pittsburgh for almost an entire decade. That showed on the scoreboard Saturday night.
Avery might have to answer for the public embarrassment that is his life. You know, that incident when he jumped Ruslan Fedotenko. Rematch? Or will Eric Godard have to step up for his teammates and take the punk down? That is, of course, if he's not already preoccupied with Donald Brashear. Last fight I remember Tenks getting in was against Colby Armstrong, whereby instead of breaking Colby's face he instead broke his hand and missed a few weeks. I'm sure Tenks has fought here and there since that incident last season, but that's the one that stands out the most in my mind.
Marian Gaborik didn't register a goal on Saturday's loss but did pick up two assists to pad his season total of 35 points. He's currently second in the league in that category, two behind Joe Thornton. Frankly Brooks Orpik did an excellent job of shutting him down, so we can only hope for a repeat effort tonight. The only good look I remember Gaborik getting was early in the first when he got in close on Fleury and just couldn't manage to lift the backhander over MAF's mitt. Other than that, he assumed more of a playmaker role than goal scorer one. On a team that doesn't exactly possess many goals scorers that's a solid trade off. To put that into perspective for ya, Gabby leads the Rangers with 19 goals. The next two players closest to him are Vinny Prospal and Alex Kotalik with six goals each.
Puck and thread drop at 7:00. Let's see the Pens close out November on a high note.