by Patrick Hoffman on 02/01/11 at 12:00 PM ET
That is what everyone in the New York Rangers’ organization is hoping as the team prepares for its first game after the break against the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at Madison Square Garden.
According to various team beat writers, Rangers’ forward Ryan Callahan will return to the lineup tonight. For the Blueshirts’ that is tremendous news as Callahan brings offensive, defense, penalty killing and leadership the lineup, things that a hockey team, especially the Rangers, can always use.
There are also reports that forward Vinny Prospal could return to the lineup as early as Thursday night when the team takes on the New Jersey Devils. Prospal will also be a welcome return to the team as he can provide some offense as well as be a player that might be able to help out struggling forward Marian Gaborik.
When it comes to tonight, however, all the team should be focused on is picking up two points. The Penguins will be without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, which means that the Rangers will not have to worry focusing their efforts on stoping the offensive dynamic duo.
With that said, however, that does not mean that the Rangers can exactly throw in the game either. They need to get some offense, play smart defense and get solid goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, which should not be a problem considering how good he has been over the last month or so.
It is time for the Rangers to bear down and get it done. Playoffs are just over two months away and if the Blueshirts can play the way they did prior to the all-star break, there should be no reason why they cannot clinch a playoff spot in the tight Eastern Conference.
It all begins tonight against the Penguins and if they play the right way, picking up two points should be more than possible.
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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.