Unfortunately, I am not in Pittsburgh, which I hear is lovely this time of year. (That’s a joke of course, but I’ve actually been to Pittsburgh twice. For those of you who haven’t been there, it’s actually a very picturesque city. You’d be surprised.)
Believe me, I wish I was there to see the regular season to its culmination. I will see if I can track down some info. But here’s what I can definitely tell you:
1. Expect Lundqvist in net.
2. Don’t count on Hossa’s return just yet.
3. Expect to see the same lineup, with the Orr/Hollweg spot the only possible exception.
Now, other than the Lundqvist thing, these are just my predictions. But I just don’t think you can mess with what you saw Thursday night. No, it wasn’t the Rangers best effort; I just thought the chemistry between their various units (three solid scoring lines, one well-defined checking line) was the best I’ve seen. I’d stick with it until that changes, wouldn’t you?
As you all know, the Rangers need a point or more to clinch sixth and a date with Atlanta, which won the Southeast Division last night. They can also grab sixth without a point if Tampa Bay loses (in regulation or overtime) to Atlanta. Those teams face off at 7, about a half hour before the Rangers.
Also, “you can find my story about the team’s surging confidence here.”:http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?Category=SPORTS&template=FRONT I suggest you pay close attention to the words of Jagr, who sounds like he’s as healthy and strong Ã¢â‚¬â€ both mentally and physically Ã¢â‚¬â€ as he’s been all season.
For those with a sense of humor, picture this: After his quote about how he even likes practice these days, he left the dressing room doing his impression Allen Iverson’s famous “Practice…We talkin’ about practice?” diatribe. To see and hear someone imitate “Practice?” in a Czech accent really puts a whole new spin on it as a comedy routine. Classic stuff.