by Patrick Hoffman on 12/29/10 at 02:02 PM ET
Looking to repear their Monday night performance over the New York Islanders (7-2 win), the New York Rangers are set to take on the New Jersey Devils tonight at the Prudential Center.
What is amazing is that the games between these two clubs used to mean a lot when both were competitive. Unfortunately for the Devils, they are currently last place in both the Eastern Conference and the entire NHL.
What does this mean for the Blueshirts? Well, knowing the Rangers, it could be a trap game where the team gets outplayed by a far-lesser hockey club and misses out on picking up two crucial points.
With that said, this year’s version of the Rangers appear to be a much different hockey club. They work hard every night, they have stayed in most games they have played and believe it or not, they have won more often than they have lost this season.
Tonight, the Rangers’ organization will once again get another look at Mats Zuccarello. Through his first two games in the NHL, Zuccarello has impressed the Rangers’ coaching staff with his speed and creativity and that is exactly what head coach John Tortorella is looking to have in the lineup on a consistent basis.
The team will be without defenseman Michael Del Zotto, who is nursing a groin injury. As I mentioned in a blog I wrote yesterday, the timing of this injury is is quite odd considering that Del Zotto was more than likely going to be a healthy scratch tonight for the second straight game.
It should be a good game tonight and hopefully at the end of the third period, the Rangers will have picked up two more points in an increasingly tight Eastern Conference.
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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.