by Patrick Hoffman on 01/29/10 at 05:49 PM ET
With the New York Rangers already struggling, they now hit the road for three games against the upstart Phoenix Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings.
Last season, they may have been deemed an easy four or six points but with this year’s team and with the way they are currently playing, two may be more realistic.
With the amount of parity in the Eastern Conference this season, every point is crucial and right now, the Blueshirts simply aren’t grabbing enough of them. The team is tied for the eighth seed along with the Montreal Canadiens, Florida Panthers and Philadelphia Flyers.
It’s going to be a dog fight from here to the finish and in order for the Rangers to stay in the thick of things, winning needs to start now.
Tomorrow night, the team takes on a team that is currently in the fourth spot in the Western Conference. Coyotes’ head coach Dave Tippett has done a tremendous job this season and should get some serious consideration for the Jack Adams Trophy as the league’s best coach.
Kudos also to former Rangers’ assistant GM, Don Maloney. Something tells me that we should have kept him, eh?
The two teams met previously back in October at the Garden, when the Blueshirts defeated the Coyotes by a score of 5-2. However, that was much a different Blueshirt team as they were getting contributions from everyone and were winning hockey games. This time, not so much.
A win tomorrow night won’t cure all the team’s ails but it would certainly be refreshing, wouldn’t it?
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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.