Living in the moment

28

Flash back to two days ago, to the second intermission of Saturday’s matinee against the Blues: The Rangers were down 2-0, and their season was essentially over — not so much because they would be back six points or whatever in the playoff race, but because it was apparent they lacked the needed fortitude to dig out important wins down the stretch.

This being my first go-round on the beat, I was chewing on a muffin and asking other writers how they thought the final weeks of the season would play out. What would be the stories? Who would be called up? When would the unfortunate business of monitoring a coaching change commence?

To be sure, all of those variables remain in play even after the Rangers buried two goals in the third period and then went on to prevail in a shootout. By April 7, when the Rangers file off the ice after their final regular season game in Pittsburgh, we may look back at what happened on Saturday and recognize it merely as an aberration — a mere detour on the inevitable road to oblivion. But there is also the chance that it goes down as the game that brought the Rangers back from the dead.

Naturally, we’re likely to know a lot more beginning tonight, in the first of two crucial games against the Islanders this week. Like I said, I’m still not sure what to make of what happened on Saturday. But I do know it ensures tonight will be as compelling a game as the Rangers have played all year.

Heck, I might even wear a tie.

If I can find one, that is…..

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28 Comments

  1. Bottom line is 2 points is ok, 3-4 against the Fishsticks would be great.

    Atlanta beating Carolina was huge yesterday. We’re right there with the Carolina, Montreal, and Toronto. Forget Boston. A team that has given up 40 more goals than they have scored won’t be in the playoffs.

  2. It’s our for the taking. What the hell is uncle larry thinking saying we should bring up lessard, has he lost his mind??
    We have ORR, who is just as good as any enforcer in the league. Truth is the isles don’t have anyone that can step to ORR, it’s a matter of Renney dressing Colton and then giving him the same ice time he has the past few games, that 4th line has been great.

  3. definitly agree with the fact that no one of the isles matches up with orr, unless you count someone simon or asham, but i believe they only dropped the gloves maybe once or twice this season.

  4. NJ Mark, Agreed about the points. The more, the better, obviously.
    However, I would not forget about Boston, or count them out. As of now, we’re tied with them in games played and points. They have also won 2 of 3, the last one fairly convincingly, since the trade deadline. Over those three games, they scored 10 while giving up only 6. And we still have to play them twice more.

  5. Diehardfan419 on

    Orr would destroy Asham…but he and Simon would be a very good fight….Anyway, Ill be there in 419 tonight and I hope the rangers fans are as ready for this as section 419 is. Lets Go Rangers chants from warmups on!!! Our playoffs have started boys. And if anyone sees any icelander fans, the beer’s on me if u dump yours on them!

  6. Lessard or Orr. I don’t care! I just want someone to knock Witt and Hill the F*** out!!! Please wipe the studip grins of their faces!!!

  7. The X-factor in tonights game is going to be AVERY. If Avery does what he does best we will win. Tonight we gotta take a page from torontos game plan and dominate the pumpkins with physical play.

  8. LI Den:

    I don’t know about Boston. I know they have played better as of late, but they still don’t impress me. They have no goaltending at all.

    Brooks is an idiot. And I hope he just read that. Orr can take care of business and has pro experience. I don’t think this is the time of season to be using a roster spot on a guy who racks up PIM and has no pro experience.

  9. So was your MSG muffin as expensive as my MSG nachos were?

    Does your diet soda taste like water also?

  10. Good point Rob. The Fishsticks have not played against us with Avery yet. I wouldn’t mind seeing him give DP the Brodeur treatment.

  11. What’s the point, Sam?

    Even if they do make the playoffs, they are going to be so exhausted from getting there, they will be out in 4 games just like last year.

    I’m a little tired of people saying “Once they get there, anything can happen.” Really? When has “anything” happened? When was the last team to barely limp into the playoffs, only to go one and do something special?

  12. I haven’t seen anyone step up to Orr since Godard (what happened to him anyway?). Anywho, if Avery stands in front of the net tonight and irk DP as much as he did Brodeur, things will happen. DP tends to come out and play the puck all the time, so perhaps they need to take advantage of those opportunities. I don’t feel like bringing myself down thinking about the playoff hunt. I just go to the Garden every home game and watch a hockey game and hopefully they will win.

  13. The key to tonight’s game is to just play simple.

    Carry the puck in… when you’re in, pepper the goalie with shots. KEEP SOMEONE IN FRONT OF THE NET. Keep the legs moving. When you’re killing a penalty and there’s no one around you… hang on to the puck and kill as much time as you can. Match up lines. Fight back when someone runs at your players.

    But just keep it simple. Keep skating, keep shooting, keep someone in front of their net. Do those three, and they’ll have a great chance to pocket some goals.

  14. I agree with most of you – keep things simple tonight, get bodies in front of the net(Avery, Prucha) and shoot on the PP (Cullen, Jagr, Raccoon, Mara), take no stoopid penalties and if anyone goes after the skill players send Orr and Holly after them – the 4th line’s justified their minutes recently lets hope it continues.

    I would love to see an Orr vs Simon bout tonight….

  15. Karen,

    I only wish I could have that kind of mindset.
    I’ve worked myself into a mild depression this year, and as a result sold off 1/3 of my package because I just couldn’t bear the pain any longer.

    Rob,

    I don’t have enough faith to believe that if we make the playoffs we’ll be able to carry the momentum all the way the the final round.

    All I want is hope for the future. Something to make me believe this organization will be improving instead of just fighting to stay afloat.

  16. what is the actual rule on goalies out of the crease in reference to interference, or open to being hit if they have the puck?

  17. I wouldn’t be surprised if Orr gets PP time tonight. With he and Avery on separate units, that means constant commotion right in front of DiPietro, who doesn’t have good self-control on his calmest day. The key for us tonight is staying out of the box, drawing penalties and knocking Ryan Smith on his ass every chance we get.

  18. Personally, I’d like to see the Rangers play a nothing-to-lose, make them pay style of hockey. You know, the way the Flyers played against the Rangers on the 17th.

  19. Cherneski,

    Besides Edmonton from last season (which Rob already covered), how about the Ducks from the year they lost to the Devils in 7 games? I believe they were an 8th seed that came within 1 game of winning it all.

    How about the 1995 Devils? They were a #6 seed (barely above the #9 seed) and won the Cup over the Wings who were heavily favored.

    And if they do make the playoffs, I don’t think they will be exhausted. They have a VERY easily schedule from a travel perspective. They will have plenty of time to rest up.

    Call me crazy, but I just want to see Ranger playoff hockey. Period. I am sick of watching baseball in April and May every year.

  20. In the playoffs all it takes is a hot goalie…
    Lets kick the snot out of the Isles tonight. We need to comeout like a bunch of CRAZEZD DOGS!!!!!

  21. The big thing that’s going to kill the Rangers down the stretch – and if it doesn’t then during the playoffs – is a lack of depth. Two of their top four scorers appear done for the year – Straka might return for the last few weeks or the playoffs if those games matter, but Shanahan I just don’t see coming back. As of now its been 2 + weeks since his concussion and he still isn’t symptom free. I just don’t see him coming back this year, if at all. It’s tough. If the Rangers had those two in the lineup, we might not even be in this predicament but we definitely would have more reason for optimism.

  22. Derucki:

    This is how: he’s managed to solidify his job for all eternity while accomplishing absolutely nothing. I suppose that makes him the ultimate GM’s GM.

    Sam,

    What were the storylines/thoughts being tossed around on Saturday before the Rangers stormed [ha!] back to win?

  23. Zipay said it looks like Straka will play. No Immonen….

    How about a D man call up for reserves???

  24. DumpJagrDope on

    Islanders will kill us on special teams. they can score shorthanded and on the PP. If we try to goon it up, they will just score a shitload of goals.

  25. bklyn… from the official rule book:

    Rule 69 – Interference on the Goalkeeper
    69.4 – Contact Outside the Goal Crease – (2nd graf)
    A goalkeeper is not “fair game” just because he is outisde the goal crease. The appropriate penalty should be assessed in every case where an attacking player makes unnecessary contact with the goalkeeper.

    Check out the rest of it at the NHL’s site.

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