NEW YORK RANGERS
MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
33rd Street and 8th Avenue
NEW YORK RANGERS - Fight Or Flight?
That's twice now, Brad Richards got his head pushed into his shoulders. He first got nailed by Chris Neil when the Rangers played Ottawa, then again by Patrick Kaleta in the Rangers last game against Buffalo. Worse, that makes four major boarding incidents (whether whistled or not) since the Rangers played the Boston Bruins nine games ago. Some of the offenders have longer rap sheets than others. But in the case of Brad Richards, Chris Neil and Patrick Kaleta are well known perps. In all four incidences, especially in the two infractions perpetrated against Brad Richards, not one opposing player received a punch in the face! Way to stick up for your fellow Blueshirt guys.
Too bad the Blueshirts can't play the Tampa Bay Lightning every night, huh..? They short circuited the Lighting twice by a combined 9-2 score in their last two meetings. Sandwiched in between were layers of rotten lunch meat. But the Rangers are winners of two in a row now, after defeating Buffalo this past Sunday. However, if the regular season ended today, Tex's Rangers would not qualify for the playoffs. The eight seed would belong to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Rangers (22) are currently one point behind Philly (23) in the Eastern Conference standings. So, that means there is a playoff spot on the line tonight, with twenty eight games left to play in the 2013 regular season. Both teams are winners of two straight entering the game.
Rangers/Flyers games aren't usually the most artistic affairs. And don't think Philly hasn't noticed the Rangers recent lack of testicular fortitude. Be sure, the Broad Street Bullies will try and push the Rangers off the puck, and into situations they can't really handle right now. But that's just my opinion.
What of Brad Richards? Will he play tonight? I think we generally agree Rick Nash suffered a concussion at the hands of Boston's Milan Lucic. But Nash still played two more games before symptoms caught up with him. Brad Richards has taken an awful lot of punishment lately. If he does skate up, the rest of the Rangers better be on alert. More, they better be ready for the Bullies. Tonight isn't just about the eighth seed. Tonight is a matter of fight, or flight.
* UPDATE - Brad Richards will not play versus Philly