by Patrick Hoffman on 01/19/10 at 06:07 PM ET
As I have said time and time again, every point is important when it comes to the Eastern Conference playoff race. Tonight, the New York Rangers look to pick up two at Madison Square Garden as the Tampa Bay Lightning come into town hoping that there are no power outages.
The Blueshirts are coming off a 6-2 thrashing of the Montreal Canadiens and are looking to stay in the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference. Currently, the Rangers are in seventh place with 53 points, two points from having sole possesion of fifth place in the Conference.
This is certainly a reachable goal for the Blueshirts and if they’re smart (which we sometimes question here and on every other Rangers’ blog), they’ll play the way they did on Sunday night against the Habs, with the exception of the first period.
According to Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants, the team is not expected to make any changes and will more than likely implement the following forward lines:
Vinny Prospal-Brandon Dubinsky-Marian Gaborik
Chris Drury-Erik Christensen-Ryan Callahan
Christopher Higgins-Artem Anisimov-Enver Lisin
Sean Avery-Brian Boyle-Aaron Voros
Click here for more on head coach John Tortorella’s thoughts on Christensen, Avery, Drury, Callahan, Boyle, Anisimov, and more as the team prepares for tonight’s tilt.
May be after this game, everyone will stop talking about having Tampa Bay Lightning forward Vinny Lecavalier traded to the Blueshirts, which has already been debunked by Lightning General Manager Brian Lawton.
Enjoy the game folks and please feel free to leave all your thoughts, rantings, trade proposals or anything else Rangers/hockey-related in the comments section. I promise that I will do everything I can to respond.
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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.