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The King’s Visit

Rangers @ Sharks, March 12, 2011, 7:30pm pst

The Sharks get to face the Rangers tonight.  After yesterday’s practice, McLellan made particular mention of his current third line- Pavelski, Wellwood, and Mitchell.

“Those three playing together, they’ve got some kind of chemistry going,” the coach said. “When you look at their size and abilities, it’s not a natural, ‘hey those guys would work well together.’ But they have and Mitchy’s a big part of that with his speed and tenacity. He’s playing with a bit of an edge, which he has to do to be effective.” -Working the Corners

So I guess keeping an eye on them is on my to do list.  I like that McLellan had the imagination to try something that some might think was “not a natural.”  Astrologically they don’t jump out as a logical grouping, but they are not unbalanced: one earth, one water, and one air.  In any case, the line seems to be working.

This will be the second game of a short road trip for the Rangers.  After beating the Flyers in a most embarrassing fashion (for the Flyers), the Rangers went to Anaheim and lost resoundingly to the Ducks.  That probably stings, and they’ve had two days off so they should not be worn out.

There have been some murmurs that Nitty may start soon, but I don’t expect to see him tonight.  Nemo has been playing very well and there seems to be no pressing reason to replace him, unless you consider 23 games in a row pressing.  Come to think of it, I would not be in the least surprised to see Nitty facing the Rangers.

I have a vague memory of the Rangers being in trouble with backup goalies, so I sort of expect to see Lunqvist tonight.  Eeeyiiik.  Like Rinne, we can expect a real tussle trying to get by King Henrik.  Ah well, like Rinne, he can be solved, the Sharks will just have to minimize errors and play like the big intimidating team they are reputed to be.

Speaking of big and intimidating, it’s Murray’s birthday.  I haven’t tracked birthdays through the year but the one I did notice that coincided with a game (Setoguchi’s) worked out pretty well.  So Happy Birthday Murray, and Go Sharks!

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