Friday, October 2, 2009
Pens Opening Night PREVIEW....Gametime Baby!!!
- Sometime after 7:30 pm, the Pens will begin their march for a Stanley Cup repeat, when they face off against Marion Gaborik and the "new look" New York Rangers. The championship banner will be raised tonight as well, and Rangers coach Tortorella wants the players to sit on the bench during the presentation in hopes of acquiring some motivation for the game, and the season as well.
- Fleury's save on Lidstrom in the winding seconds of game 7 still sticks in mind when I think of a Pens game. Tonight though, a new season will start, with some new faces sprinkled in thru the lineup. But the core of the team, Staal/Geno/Sid/Fleury/Gonch, they're all still here.
The Rangers on the other hand, have completely revamped themselves in the off-season, particularly with the forwards. They managed to trade Scott Gomez and his ridiculous $10 mil/yr contract and get some value in return, with young forward Chris Higgins. They signed flashy forward Marion Gaborik, who if healthy can put up 40-50 goals this year in an up-tempo offensive system.
- The Rangers also brought in Vinny Prospal, Ales Kotalik, and Donald Brashear. Ranger fans still haven't accepted Brashear into the community quite yet after his nasty hit on Betts last year in the playoffs. The Rangers now have a ton of offensive talent to be able to play in a Tortorella type system. But their strength remains on the backend with Girardi, Staal, and Redden.
- Enough of the Rangers, let's talk about those Pens. Crosby will be in the lineup although he's not 100% healthy. He's been hampered by a groin problem he suffered in a pre-season game against the Blue Jackets. Talbot will also be out for the contest, in fact he'll be injured until the beginning of November. Unfortunately Chris Bourque will not make his Pens debut tonight, but more likely tomorrow against the Isles. Godard's enforcing presence will be needed because Brashear will be playing for the Rangers. The NHL's top pest, Mr. Sean Avery, will also sit this game out with an injury.
The Lineup looks like this: