Hugh Jessiman

Week Off Might Be Double-Edged Sword

After a seven day wait and plenty of talk, the Eastern Conference Semifinal series between the Rangers and Penguins finally gets under way tonight (7:00pm – Versus).

If the Rangers are to win the series, they’ll need to neutralize Sidney Crosby. While Evgeni Malkin lead the Penguins in the regular season, Crosby is probably their key player, and the Rangers will need to keep a lid on him.

A big part of the story will be how well the Rangers’ defense can stand up to the Penguins’ offensive firepower.

From a Penguins perspective, they’re looking for ways to deal with Sean Avery. Avery of course became the top news item for the Rangers in the Quarterfinal series with the Devils. For all the talk of ignoring him, he sure gets a lot of attention.

They’ll also be attempting to put pressure on Henrik Lundqvist.

History is on the Penguins’ side in this series. They’ve won the three previous series, beating the Rangers by a margin of 12-3 in the process. The last time the two teams met was in 1996.

In case you’re still not sure, yes, Jaromir Jagr will face a chilly reception when he returns to the Pittsburgh ice. Some of the local Pittsburgh media is even encouraging the boos.

Another story that’s been making the rounds this week is the faceoff of Marc Staal and his brother Jordan.

If you’re still looking for a breakdown of matchups, there are two more today, one from the NY Post, and another from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The Wolf Pack cleared out their lockers after a series that turned on some close calls. The Rangers called up ten players with the Pack finished. Noticeably absent from the list were Alex BourretHugh Jessiman and Ivan Baranka.

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