by Patrick Hoffman on 03/08/11 at 09:30 PM ET
At this point of the NHL season, every single game matters if you are a team that is fighting for one of eight spots in either the Eastern or Western Conference.
This statement should hit home for the New York Rangers. Going into their game tomorrow night with the Anaheim Ducks, the team holds the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference with 74 points. This puts the team just two points in front of the eighth place Buffalo Sabres and three points in front of the ninth place Carolina Hurricanes.
With the Sabres playing tonight and the Hurricanes playing tomorrow night, a lot can change prior to the Rangers’ tilt with the Ducks tomorrow night. With that in mind, the goal should be the same: get two points at all costs.
The Blueshirts clearly played with that attitude on Friday night against the Ottawa Senators and Sunday afternoon against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Blueshirts went on to outscore the Senators and Flyers by a combined score of 11-1.
Tomorrow night, the Blueshirts take on a Ducks’ team that is also fighting for a playoff spot. The Ducks are currently tied for ninth in the Western Conference, just two points behind the eighth place Los Angeles Kings so this game obviously means a lot to them as well.
For the Rangers to be successful, the team will need to play the exactly the way they did in their last two games. They will need to get timely goal scoring (hopefully from someone other than Ryan Callahan), play smart defense, score on the power play and get good goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist, who was great against both the Senators and Flyers.
Based on the way Marain Gaborik played against the Flyers on Sunday afternoon, I would say that the team needs to be careful with him. It is clear that he rushed himself back onto the ice, which on one hand, is not bad because he wants to contribute to the team. On the other hand, however, should he get injured again, he may run into some serious problems.
It should be a good game between two teams fighting to either stay in or get into the playoff picture. Should the Rangers come away with two points, it will hopefully be two points closer towards a playoff berth.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: anaheim+ducks, buffalo+sabres, carolina+hurricanes, henrik+lundqvist, los+angeles+kings, marian+gaborik, new+york+rangers, ottawa+senators, philadelphia+flyers, ryan+callahan
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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.