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There are plenty of compelling reasons why the NHL season is too long, but say this much: with now just 14 games remaining, it doesn’t look there will be a single meaningless contest to speak of.

Really, who knows where this final month will take the Rangers? Maybe just a few weeks ago they would be happy for any playoff spot. But now, there are a host of appealing options within their reach: a favorable sixth-seed in which they will draw the champion of the watered-down Southeast Division; a fourth-seed in which they’ll secure home ice. Heck, even first place in the entire conference is only just five points away.

I know, I know, let’s settle down. First up is the Bruins tomorrow, and given the Rangers’ poor showings against them already this season, they’re not afforded the luxury of looking too far ahead.

A few things the Rangers need along the way: greater consistency from Henrik Lundqvist, some goals from Jaromir Jagr, and the disappearance of those mid-game lulls that have invited too many opponents back into the contest. Take care of that, and then let’s talk.

More later…

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43 Comments

  1. REPOST:

    I hope the Rangers sign Rozsival and Avery for next year. I think Sather is being an idiot if he doesn’t resign both for reasonable ammounts, and that would be in the 3 area for both I think…

    I’m just depressed because right now it looks iffy,

    But just want to add this last string of games has been amazing!! I hope it continues, and Sam is so wonderful for doing this blog!!

  2. Good thoughts Sam,
    I find it amazing that every team is so bunched together, I mean we are in 6th place but only a few points out of 1st. It seems so crazy.
    Anyway BIG game against the Bruins tomorrow
    LGR

  3. Tony from AZ on

    Boston losing 1-0
    2 fights in the first 14 seconds.
    Hope they get tired & beat up before we play them tomorrow

  4. oh come on joejoe, you have no idea if Avery is a real d*(k behind closed doors or not. Look at the tourment he creates on/off the ice. Maybe its just something she just wants to forget. Always 3 sides to a story his/hers/truth

  5. They’re still not dead, but next year — assuming they lose Poti — Washington is going to be really good. They fly.

  6. Wash has a lot of work to do. They have some great players (AO, Semin, Green, Backstrom, Kozlov) but no garuntee Huet comes back if Colo or LA come$ on knockin’ and after Green they’re defense isn’t too deep. Nylander also must bounce back and get healthy;that’s a big cap hit.

  7. If she is a slut, what is he? I sense a huge double standard here. Women enjoy sex; sorry if that scares you.

  8. Avery definitely hits the Tanning Salon.

    The reason I think the Rangers season turned around I think is partially attributable to Jagrs lack of scoring. The much needed void in scoring necessitated players like Dubinsky, Dawes, Drury to step up and take the lead. Gomer was good all season, but most of the other players stepped up and were given more PP time than Jags recently. And now Jagr has started to come on because he is finally getting his confidence back. If we only had a bruiser on D, this team could go far.

  9. Stupid Caps !!

    The Habs are beating the Kings 3 – 1 as well, so that should put them another 2 points ahead of Nyr.

    Forsberg got two assists in todays Avs win. He isnt looking that bad. Pretty strong actually. Avs definitely got better.

    That Bruins vs Rangers game just got so much more important.

  10. Hockeyman Rangers #2 on

    That Bruins vs Rangers game just got so much more important.

    You can say that again. We must dominate for the full 60 mins.

  11. that moron Brash-goon cost the Caps the game. he handed boston the victory with 6 mins in penalties with 6 mins to go.

    if they miss the playoffs by 2 pts, it is all on him

  12. Gotta love the Center Ice Package. Coyotes just got two quickies to take the lead and are going on the PP. Sens are going in the tank. I think I found a guy who could give Malik a run for most clueless. Meet Luke Richardson. What a bum.

  13. The Caps made some boneheaded moves this afternoon, Brashears made a bad move, so did Erkstine, but they weren’t done, Poti took another penalty and the Bruins, after getting outplayer pretty much all afternoon, were sharp enough to take advantage of the Caps undisciplined play and scored twice in the last 6 minutes to win 2-1 in regulation.

    That being said, the Caps got screwed on a lot of calls, Boston was allowed to hook and hold all day and the refs looked the other way.

    Chara hurt himself in the game. Looked like a jammed shoulder or slight separation.

    Boston will be pumped after this win and will come out flying tomorrow.

  14. For those who care: another goal for Bryce Hollweg tonight – as Rosen would say, “It’s a POWER PLAY GOAL!” – as Army wins 5-2 against American International, advancing to the conference championship weekend.

  15. i hate the bruins, i hate the patriots, i hate the celtics and i hate hate hate boston.

    we better bring home the 2 points tomorrow against a bruin team that’s left us puzzled all year. we simply cannot lose this one and we HAVE TO WIN IT IN REGULATION.

  16. Every team in the playoff picture got 2 pts yesterday (NJ, MON, CAR, OTT, BOS, PHI). The Rangers basically need to keep pace; they had 2 days off, and BOS is playing their second game within 24 hours, 5th in 7 days (They also lost an hour of sleep, as we all did)! The only reason the B’s won yesterday was the terrible call Mr. Bettman’s henchmen made on Erskine (after Brashear’s idiotic penalties). Rangers just need to play their game and score a few early – Bruins will have no energy to comeback today. And although the Rangers lost to them 3 times this year (2 in a shootout), I still like the matchup against them. We’re taking 2 points in regulation today.

  17. Rangers are fresh. They should come up, play a smart and aggressive game, put A LOT of pressure on the Bruins dmen, get very physical (like that song from the 80s) and just bombard Thomas and screen him.

  18. Check out the article in the NY Post today about Slats turning down deal of Steve Bernier for Avery. I love Avery and would have probably done the same, but this could come back to haunt us if Slats is stupid enough not to re-sign #16.

  19. longtimerangersfan on

    Sam Weinman said:
    “A few things the Rangers need along the way: greater consistency from Henrik Lundqvist, some goals from Jaromir Jagr, and the disappearance of those mid-game lulls that have invited too many opponents back into the contest. Take care of that, and then let’s talk.”

    Careful Sam, if you start to point out Ranger shortcomings on your board you automatically become…horrors, do I dare say it…oh what the hell…NEGATIVE. It fells good to get that off my chest…phew.

  20. Cliff, I know I have seen you post a few times on the blog. By now I think everyone knows to attach links, if possible, when refering to articles.

    The keys to todays game.
    1. Stay out of the penalty box
    2. Pressure the D with good forechecking, finish your checks
    3. Shoot a lot, crash the net. B’s do not protect their goalie well.
    4. Score early and often

    LETS GO RANGERS!!!!

    See you at the Garden.

  21. Oh boy another big one today…. I hate to say it…
    but you all know how the Rangers operate…and I think we are due for a loss….

    I know, I know… it would be a HUGE loss if it happens… but Boston plays great against us…..

    I hope I am wrong….

  22. its simple – get the puck in deep and pound the hell out of boston’s D. We need to run these guys over in the first 20 mins.

  23. Doodie Machetto on

    via Spector’s Trade rumors (I think this is the same story tomg tried to link to)

    “NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports NY Rangers GM Glen Sather rejected a trade deadline offer from the San Jose Sharks of Steve Bernier in exchange for Sean Avery. Brooks suggests it was that decision by Sather which set in motion the domino effect whereby Marian Hossa went to Pittsburgh and Brian Campbell to San Jose with Bernier going to Buffalo.

    SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seems odd the Sharks would part with Bernier for an agitating forward like Avery when they’d been seeking a defenseman like Campbell since last summer.”

    WTF!!!! I would’ve made that deal in a hot second. Bernier is going to be an elite power forward, but more importantly for us, he is a wing that isn’t a shrimp! What do we do when Jagr and Shanny retire? We have no size on the wing, and he is going to be amazing. I had been suggesting we swap Jagr for Bernier: if we could have done it for Avery! OH MAN!

    Now all of the Avery lovers can say whatever they want, but remember this: Avery is wearing Slats’ patience thin. He won’t be here much longer. Bernier could have been a Ranger for a decade.

  24. Doodie,
    I agree, the kid is 22 years of age and has size and is just starting out as a power forward. If this story is true than Sather better sign avery or else this will be a huge mistake. I guess sather only cares about this season and not the future. it seems the mentality of winning it all this year for jagr and Shanny is in sather’s mind but I don’t kinow that for sure, just speculation.

  25. Doodie I agree with what you are saying. I myself had always wanted to have a big gun like Bernier. However, with Atrem and Cherpanov(SP?) in the system we might just have a big scorer. Only time will tell. If they do not work out then this non-trade is a tough loss. Until then we will just have to hang tight.

  26. Doodie Machetto on

    Richard, Anisimov and Cherepanov aren’t BIG players. We need some size on the wings. We have no power forwards. Bernier will be a consistent 30 goal scorer starting two years from now.

  27. # ChrisV82 March 8th, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    Tim Thomas in the past week – 6.30 GAA, .813 SV%

    Watch him get a shutout against the Rangers.

    Okay, it wasn’t Thomas, but the Bruins shut the Rangers down for three periods. Watch out, Weinman, I might steal your job (if your job was mildly accurate predictions of the future).

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