Sunday, October 25, 2009

Head to Head: Round 1

Monday night the New York Rangers will host the Phoenix Coyotes in the first of two matchups this season. The predicament I experience between these two teams will be continue but it is a little different this season. Instead of the two teams being on opposite sides of the spectrum, they are both in good places in the standings.
Both of them lost last night as the Rangers fell in overtime to the Montreal Canadiens while Phoenix were defeated by the Los Angeles Kings. Both teams have been playing sloppy as of late which is expected as both teams look to learn new systems after going on extended winning streaks.
Tomorrow's lineups are unknown as of right now. Henrik Lundqvist has a stiff foot after having it knocked into the goal post in yesterday's game. I would not be surprised to see Valiquette in goal tomorrow just to give Lundqvist a rest for Wednesday when the Rangers meet the New York Islanders for the first time this season.
Head Coach Dave Tippett usually sticks with one goalie and someone playing like Ilya Bryzgalov, there is no doubt he will continue to start in goal for Phoenix as they look to get back to winning.
The head coaches of these teams are very intense and believe their teams have been playing very poorly despite finding ways to win. The mistakes are catching up with these teams and both the coaches and players know it. It will be an interesting game where both teams will be looking to get back on the winning side of things.
For Ranger fans: Chill out. This team is going to take time to get completely used to each other. John Tortorella has won a Stanley Cup and knows how to run a team. He is the reason that Vincent Lecavalier is the player he has become and why that Tampa Bay team was able to be competitive. We have seen both the best and worst sides of this team. It was going to happen at some point during the season, just be happy it is early in the season.
Me? I will be wearing my Coyotes stuff tomorrow. I see this as possibly the last time I will see the Phoenix Coyotes live and in person so I will support them. I am ready for the ownership jokes and attendance jabs but if the Coyotes can win then it will be completely worth it.