BATTLE of the HUDSON - III
Series Tied 1-1
I - NJD 3; NYR 1
II - NYR 3; NJD 2
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
NEW YORK RANGERS
Madison Square Garden
33rd Street at 8th Avenue
NEW YORK RANGERS - Protecting A One Point, Eighth Place Seed, With No Identity, Will Be No Easy Task, And Even Harder To Predict.
NEW JERSEY DEVILS:
FOR THE DEFENDING EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPS,
IT'S WIN OR BE ELIMINATED!
This has no doubt been a tumultuous season for Tex's Rangers. And it is far from over. From reaching the conference finals last season, they are merely clinging to playoff aspirations one year later, for the Blueshirts still maintain a precipitous hold on the eighth seed with four games remaining in the 2013 lockout shortened regular season. A recent offensive outburst by the Rangers has been a welcome omen for better times ahead. But if they really want to end their regular season the right way, and set the tone for a possible and prosperous playoff run ahead, they can start with exorcising last year's demons by repaying the New Jersey Devils a favor - eliminating them from contention today.
Despite the Rangers fall from conference leaders to eighth seed hopefuls, Madison Square Garden should be raucous today, even though Sunday afternoon games have usually been known as kid's day for years. In today's particular situation, parents will either have to cover their kinder's ears, let it be, or keep them home and give their ticket to a die-hard drunkard buddy.
I'm sorry, but in my opinion, the Rangers, these Rangers, do not have an identity yet. Beginning today, they have four more games to figure one out. Fourteen goals in two games against the lowly Florida Panthers, and a rebuilding Sabres team should, for the most part, be ignored. I am more interested in which team shows up today, and which team takes the ice over the final three games. With fifty points, Winnipeg is only a point away with forty-nine. A season which could potentially end with the New York Islanders in sixth place, and the Rangers missing out would be nothing short of a calamity. While that would indeed be unacceptable, in Glen Sather's universe lacking oversight and free of accountability, he might be inclined to pass the buck, and fire John Tortorella. But that's putting Glen Sather's cart way ahead of Tort's horses. Let's beat the New Jersey Devils first, and free up their month of May for vacationing.