by Patrick Hoffman on 04/06/09 at 12:25 PM ET
Tomorrow night will mark the New York Rangers’ biggest game of the season to date. After the Florida Panthers beat the Pittsburgh Penguins last night, the blueshirts find themselves tied for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 89 points.
With three games to go in the regular season, their uphill battle will continue tomorrow night when they take on the Montreal Canadiens, a team that is seventh in the conference with 92 points and is catching fire at the right time (5-3-2 in their last 10 games). The Rangers can beat the Canadiens but again, with the tension mounting and the games becoming more and more important by the day, it is not going to be an easy task.
The team has games with the Habs and Philadelphia Flyers (two) to determine whether or not this year’s Rangers will clinch a playoff spot for the fourth consecutive season. The Panthers, on the other hand, have games against the Flyers, Atlanta Thrashers, and Washington Capitals. Both teams have competitive schedules but now, it will come down to just three games to determine who gets the last playoff spot in the conference.
The team has no one to blame but themselves for being in this situation. Problems with consistency, the power play, line juggling, personnel changes, etc. have all contributed to the team’s issues this season. Now, however, is the time to put those off to the side and go out there and get the job done because the last thing the team wants to do is miss the playoffs and disappoint the thousands of Ranger fans that will be at the Garden both tomorrow night against the Habs and Thursday night against the Flyers.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: atlanta+thrashers, eastern+conference, florida+panthers, montreal+canadiens, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, washington+capitals
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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.