There’s a dental convention in town down the road from the Garden, so I’m pretty sure the Rangers are the second-biggest attraction on the West Side tonight. Man, I just hope they don’t get out of control. You know how these dentists get.
Anyway, some pre-game thoughts:
Another Sunday game against the Sabres, and Tom Renney is rolling out the same lineup as last night’s stirring win over the Penguins, and that includes Henrik Lundqvist, who is starting in net for the fifth straight game, and the ninth in 10 games. Is this a problem? Does Renney risk running down his sophomore goaltender this early in the year? I don’t think so. I think Kevin Weekes got two cracks at Buffalo already and was awful in the first and serviceable in the second; and I think that, at worst, the team gets a day off tomorrow before it meets up with Atlanta on Tuesday.
In the “The-team-is-winning-and-we’ve-got-nothing-else-to-dwell-on” department, there continues to be a question of whether the Rangers are relying too heavily on the same four players for their offense while almost everyone has been reduced to ice-fillers. Again, just how serious the concern is depends on your perspective. If the Rangers had just lost three games in a row, I’d say maybe there should be more of a proactive effort to get other players involved. But as of now, as long as the third and fourth lines are still solid defensively, I’m not sure you want to start asking anyone to change how they play. Granted, this could all change in a heartbeat should any of their front-line players get hurt. But until then, you play the hand your dealt.
I don’t know this for a fact, but I have to think Renney is going to remind his players that tonight has all the makings of a let-down game. Think about it: back-to-back games; a grueling overtime win on the road last night, the best team in the league as an opponent. Put it another way: if the Rangers crank out two points tonight, I’ll officially be impressed.
Questions? Thoughts? Concerns?