by Patrick Hoffman on 02/10/10 at 12:39 PM ET
The New York Rangers will look to pick up a crucial two points tonight when they take on the Nashville Predators at Madison Square Garden.
As of right now at least, the game is still on as New York City is expecting quite amount of snow. However, if the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals were able to play on Sunday afternoon, there is no reason why the two teams should not be able to play tonight.
For the Rangers, that means bringing the same effort they did on Saturday night at home against the New Jersey Devils, while doing a better job of keeping the shots against total lower. Against a team like the Predators, that should be a reachable goal.
However, much like the Rangers, the Predators are in a fight for their playoff lives as they currently sit tied for the seventh spot in the Western Conference with the Calgary Flames while the Blueshirts are in the tenth spot in the Eastern Conference.
With games on Friday night in Pittsburgh and Sunday afternoon at MSG against the Lightning before the Olympic Break, the team knows how important these games are. Starting netminder Henrik Lundqvist told the following to Jim Cerny of NewYorkRangers.com:
“I don’t think anyone in here is even thinking about the break,” said goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who will also start between the pipes for Sweden in the upcoming Olympics. “Every game is so important to us now. We want to be here and be ready for each game that is left.”
Olli Jokinen also said the following:
“All we can do is focus on (Wednesday’s) game against Nashville and getting those two points,” said center Olli Jokinen, who will play a major role for Finland in the Olympics. “Every game is a playoff game. We’re right there in the mix, but we can’t afford to lose any focus just because there is the break coming up. We have to stay focused and get those two points (Wednesday) and then the next two after that.”
Hopefully, the Blueshirts will practice what they preach and come away with two crucial points tonight.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.