And now for our daily recitation of the obvious:
You would be correct in saying tonight is another essential game, even more so given that the Rangers lost their “last essential game”:http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/2007/01/31/as-big-as-it-gets-for-january-31/, to Toronto on Wednesday.
For those of you who have already scanned the standings (and then had a good cry), you know that Tampa Bay is one of three teams four points ahead of the Rangers for the last spots in the playoff race. Yes, the Lightning have played two more games than the Rangers while Carolina has played three more games (Pittsburgh has played one less). But it doesn’t change the fact that another loss tonight could be devastating.
And believe it or not, at this stage in the season, the ramifications have less to do with the Rangers literally falling out of playoff race as it does the perception that they’re falling out of the playoff race. Consider the difference. We’ve already talked at length about how this isn’t the most mentally strong of teams. So to think that they would have the consititution to just buckle down once the going got really tough is probably a stretch.
And let’s not discount the fact that the team faces Detroit and the Devils on back-to-back nights at the start of next week, so it’d be very easy to see a two-game losing streak suddenly become four.
And to think, I’m generally an upbeat guy.
Meanwhile, some updates:
OK, that’s all for now…