Tuesday, March 22, 2011

N.Y. RANGERS ~ Blueshirts Must Keep Pounding Away


7th Place - Eastern Conference
  39-30-4    82 Points
Nine Games Remain


Florida Panthers

Madison Square Garden
33rd Street and 7th Avenue

Beware the trap game.  I don't know how on earth the Rangers can take tonight's game lightly.  But beware none-the-less.  Four game winning streaks mean little to me.  The Rangers can't let the momentum they've gained with huge wins over Philadelphia; San Jose; Montreal; and Pittsburgh get compromised with a flat effort against the Florida Panthers.  Florida was a near-contender at the trade deadline.  They decided to go in a different direction which resulted in the Rangers picking up their Captain; defense man Brian McCabe.  Since that trade the Panthers have been quietly fading away.

The Rangers have two home games this week; tonight against Florida and they host Ottawa Thursday.  The Rangers are 17-16-3 at home, which by the way, is an improvement from where they once were.  The improvement at home must continue this week against teams we should be better against; and need to be better against.  With only nine games left in the season and Buffalo and Carolina hot on our trail, there is no room for a let down.

Marian Gaborik has been showing signs of life which just adds to earlier mysteries and questions about him.  Has he been playing hurt all this time?  Does he now have confidence in his body again?  Injuries always bring a certain level of doubt with them and maybe Gaborik is finally in his right frame of mind again because he certainly looks more tenacious lately.

The King, Henrik Lundqvist; Ye of the Stiff Neck ~ will get yet another start tonight.  And I say good.  This is the time of year when you want to ride your goalie like a mule.  And our Liege has been getting into fine form.  He's been brilliant over the most recent stretch and seems to be thriving with having to carry the total load in net.

Marc Staal is still a concern.  Coach Torts isn't saying what's wrong with him because he doesn't want other teams targeting a specific body area.  It's still unknown if he will play tonight.

You know who else's game status is in question?  Yep; Sean Avery.  What Coach Torts has planned for him is any-one's call.  He's been a healthy scratch for three of the last four games.  His lone effort against the Islanders was horrific.  And with the way things have been going lately, it doesn't seem likely Coach Torts will change anything now.

The Rangers have been playing big.  They're making big hits, getting big goals and are winning big games.


Here's some Blueshirt Numbers:

2nd in the Conference in Goals For.   
6th in the League in Goals For.

3rd in the Conference in Goals Against.
6th in the League in Goals Against.

Previous Post Covering Wins Over Montreal and Pittsburgh:

Tonight's Key Games:
Devils at Boston
Ottawa at Carolina
Buffalo at Montreal


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