Update, 1:20 p.m.: Colton Orr, perhaps because his new mohawk is affecting his immunity, has a touch of the flu and is questionable for tonight. Should he be unavailable,Â Jason Strudwick would skate at forward. Marc Staal has declared himself fit to play. All this “courtesy of Zipay”:http://weblogs.newsday.com/sports/hockey/rangers/blog/, who was at the morning skate.
It should be mentioned that every time I’ve questioned whether the Rangers should be setting their sights higher than just qualifying for a playoff spot, they’ve fallen into another slump.
Well, don’t look now, but that ‘s “exactly the topic of my story in today’s paper”:http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080219/SPORTS01/802190363/-1/SPORTS
The point isn’t that the Rangers are necessarily going to cruise into the postseason just because they picked up a couple of impressive wins over the weekend. The point is that the way the East is right now, this team can somehow be sitting on the playoff bubble and contending for a division or even conference title at the same time.
Whether that’s a testament to the conference’s strength or weakness is open for debate.
“It’s a little bit of both,” Brendan Shanahan said.
The Rangers’ opponent tonight seems to be a case in point. The Canadiens, after all, are tied for the best point total in the conference, and yet they’re also a team the Rangers have beaten in all three previous meetings this season. The Devils are another example: they’re tied for the best record in the East, and the Rangers have knocked them off five times.
What is this all point to — other than the fact that I’m pretty good at basic arithmetic? That should the Rangers continue on the track they’re on, there’s little that says this has to be a short spring.
Of course, I just placed a hex on the team by writing the words above, so let’s revisit the topic next week when the Rangers have lost five straight and are mired in 11th place.