by Patrick Hoffman on 02/19/12 at 06:15 PM ET
With the New York Rangers having missed a chance to extend their winning streak to five games with a loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night, the team will look to start a new one from the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight (8:00 p.m.) at Madison Square Garden.
The Blue Jackets, the worst team in the National Hockey League, is coming off a 6-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks last night. They are struggling to score goals, not getting good goaltending and one player may not even be getting along the team’s own fans.
At the other end, the Blueshirts are at the top of the Eastern Conference and seven points behind the league-leading Detroit Red Wings. The team is also 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and have been getting their offense going, playing terrific on the defensive side of the puck and getting Vezina Trophy-like goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist.
For the Rangers, it will be important for them to not take this game lightly. Playing in front of your own fans and against the league’s worst teams might make the Rangers want to get too cute with the puck or try and do too much and when that happen, the Blueshirts usually end up in trouble.
Remember, prior to the Thursday night’s game, the Blackhawks had lost nine straight games. In that game, the Blackhawks took control from the drop of the puck and scored four goals within the first 10 minutes of the hockey game en route to a 4-2 victory.
Should the Rangers play within themselves tonight and do what they have done all season long, there is no reason why the Rangers will not grab points 80 and 81.
There is no time like the present for the Blueshirts to start a new winning streak.
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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.