by Patrick Hoffman on 04/06/12 at 12:37 PM ET
There really is not too much to say regarding the New York Rangers’ 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins last night.
Yes, we can easily rehash Penguins’ defenseman Brooks Orpik’s hit on Derek Stepan and also what Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella had to say about it. With that said, it does not make sense to go over it again as we all know what was done and what was said and we all have an opinion on it.
Instead, it is time to shift our focus to the last regular season game tomorrow night against the Washington Capitals. The Capitals managed to clinch a playoff spot last night with a 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers and are just two points behind the Panthers for the top spot in the Southeast Division.
The Capitals will play hard tomorrow night to try and clinch the division and home ice in the first round of the playoffs. This is a team that knows how to put the puck in the net, even though they have not done enough of that this season.
At the other end, the Blueshirts still have a chance to win their first Presidents’ Trophy since 1994, the year they won the Stanley Cup. If the Rangers win tomorrow night, it will also mark the the third straight playoffs in which they meet the Washington Capitals in the first round.
Obviously, the Rangers have not done well against the Capitals in the postseason. Back in 2009, the Capitals came back from a 3-1 series to deficit and beat the Rangers in 7 games. Last season, the Capitals beat the Blueshirts in five games.
If this is going to be the rangers’ first round match-up, it would be smart for the team to go into the postseason on a winning note against their potential opponent.
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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.