Found December 15, 2011 on Blue Seat Blogs:

Standings: Blues (17-9-3), Rangers (17-7-4)

Leading Scorer: Alexander Steen (9-10-19)

Goaltender: Brian Elliott (15 GP, 1.45 GAA, .947 SV%)

Rangers Lines:

Artem Anisimov-Derek Stepan-Marian Gaborik
Ruslan Fedotenko-Brad Richards-Ryan Callahan
Carl Hagelin-Brian Boyle-John Mitchell
Brandon Dubinsky-Erik Christensen-Brandon Prust

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi
Michael Del Zotto-Steve Eminger
Jeff Woywitka-Anton Stralman

Henrik Lundqvist gets the start.

Scratches/Injuries: Marc Staal (concussion symptoms), Mike Rupp (knee), Wojtek Wolski (groin), Mike Sauer (concussion), Sean Avery (healthy), Tim Erixon (healthy)

Suit’s Take:

The Blues are just raking right now and the move to hire Hitchcock seems to be paying off. They are coming off a three-game winning streak and are 11-2-3 in their last 16 games.  They are getting it done because of their overall commitment to team defense, which shouldn’t surprise anyone as Hitchcock has long been known for his neutral zone traps.

As a result, St. Louis has allowed the second-fewest goals per game (2.03) and the fewest shots per game (26.2).  Beating them at even strength is going to be very difficult if we can’t get our forecheck going. Winning those three-on-three battles down low will be crucial. The Blues’ Achilles Heel is their special teams. They are dead last in the league in power play conversions and are ranked 21st on the PK.

Tactics aside, St. Louis is constructed in a similar fashion to the Rangers. They have a real young blueline being led by Alex Pietrangelo, a steady two-way defenseman, the offensive-minded Kevin Shattenkirk (from New Rochelle) and Kris Russel , but they play a lot bigger up front with David Backes (6’3 225 lbs), Jason Arnott (6’5 220 lbs), and Chris Stewart (6’2 230 lbs). This should be a great match up from head to toe.

Side note, in all my years in pro-sports I don’t know if I have found a friendlier or more informed fan base than St. Louis sports fans. They know their sh…stuff and I wish them well. Shame about Albert Pujols.

Crazy Thought: JD replaces Joe in the booth.

Opponent’s Blog: Blue Not Zone

Game time tonight is 8pm on MSG, AM1050 and XM214.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

With Slumping Offense Comes Change – Dubi?

Amid a scoring slump of sorts (2 games is hardly a crisis) Coach Tortorella once again swapped up his lines during the Blues game. On one occasion Carl Hagelin played opposite Marian Gaborik. With all the line changes comes speculation about the who, what, where and why’s. Perhaps the main thing the Rangers didn’t do well against the Blues was stick to their own game. The team...

Rangers Recall Tim Erixon

The Rangers announced they recalled defenseman Tim Erixon from the CT Whale of the AHL. Erixon has played well in 13 games for the Whale, recording one goal and 11 assists, though he did miss some games with injury a few weeks ago. The recall does not mean Erixon is guaranteed to play, but could be precautionary since the Rangers have no extra defenders as they head out to St...

Press Release: Rangers Assign Tim Erixon Back To Connecticut

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that defenseman Tim Erixon has been assigned to the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League (AHL). Erixon, 20, did not skate in the Rangers 4-1 loss yesterday at St. Louis following his recall from Connecticut on Wednesday.  He began the season on the [...]

Avery Knows He Can Help

Dan Martin at the New York Post has these quotes from Sean Avery responding to his two straight healthy scratches..."It's definitely more frustrating," Avery told the Post. "I know I can help."It's not easy, but it's part of the job have (sic) and you have to deal with it. I want the guys to play well regardless of who is in the lineup, but it'...

Erixon to Be Sent Back to Whale After Trip

Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record reports that John Tortorella expects Tim Erixon to be sent back to the CT Whale after Saturday night's game in Phoenix.Erixon was summoned for the two game road trip in case Steve Eminger wasn't able to play do to an arm injury he sustained while blocking a shot Tuesday night....assuming this makes it less likely that Erixon will get in the...

Rangers Winger Sean Avery Sparks Twitter Feud with Kate Upton

What is it with professional athletes mixing it up with models as of late? Recently, UFC fighter Chael Sonnen went toe-to-toe with ring girl Arianny Celeste. According to the  New York Daily News, New York Rangers rogue Sean Avery got into a bit of a Twitter scuffle with the gorgeous supermodel Kate Upton. Apparently, Upton attended the November 29th Rangers game at Madison Square...

Avery frustrated with role on Rangers

ST. LOUIS -- Sean Avery has given up trying to figure out when he’ll play again for the Rangers, but he admits sitting while the team played two of its ugliest games of the season the past five days has been particularly difficult. “It’s definitely more frustrating,” Avery...

Rangers-Blues matchup

BLUES VS. NEW YORK RANGERS

Rangers' Staal says last week 'has gone really well'

ST. LOUIS — Rangers defenseman Marc Staal still doesn’t know when he’s going to play for the first time since suffering a concussion in February, but his progress continued during Thursday’s morning skate. “The past few days have been the hardest I’ve skated in a really long...

Is HBO 24/7 selling an NHL that doesn’t currently exist?

(Above: New York Rangers forward Brian Boyle on '24/7', waiting for "Avatar 2" and quite hungry.) Right from the start, last night's "HBO 24/7 Flyers Rangers" celebrated the brutality of the game: Big hits, fighting, nasty rivalries and the scars (and injuries) that result from them. You know, all the stuff the NHL has been asked to slowly disown...

Torts shuffles, but Rangers lose

John Tortorella sat Brad Richards for more than nine minutes after the big-money center’s line surrendered two early goals to the Blues. The Rangers were handed their second straight defeat, 4-1.

NY Rangers' Stralman could see more minutes Saturday vs. Phoenix Coyotes

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Steve Eminger said there was one reason for his bump to the Rangers’ third defensive pair in Thursday night’s 4-1 loss to the Blues, and it had nothing to do with his sore right arm.

Rangers Place Michael Sauer On The IR

… not good. Hopefully it won’t be a long trip to the IR for Sauer. Now it makes sense why Erixon was brought up, if Sauer is going to miss more time than the Rangers previously thought. 

Erixon Gets The Call From The Rangers

By Bruce Berlet It was hardly surprising that the New York Rangers called up rookie defenseman Tim Erixon from the Connecticut Whale on Wednesday. Erixon’s role with the AHL’s Northeast Division leaders has expanded, and his play has steadily improved since he was assigned to the Whale on Oct. 29. The 20-year-old had been on the Whale’s No. 1 power-play unit and become among...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.