I got to thinking the other day when a bunch of you guys were rattling off all the bad defensemen in recent Rangers history. How many good ones have they had? Not many. Not many at all.
So I thought of it this way: You’d probably take all or any of the seven of the defensemen on the ’94 team on this team right now: Brian Leetch, Jeff Beukeboom, Sergei Zubov, Kevin Lowe, Jay Wells, Alex Karpovtsev and Doug Lidster.
So let’s exclude them.
Then let’s exclude the current group, just for the heck of it.
How many good to decent defensemen have the Rangers had over the last 20 years? These are the best I could name, and I included some who had promise here but were traded away, and some who ultimately were busts here, but played pretty well at some point. And there aren’t many at all.
Here are the best defensemen in that group the last 20 years:
How many of those would you like to have for these last three games?
Meanwhile, remember this. The first tiebreaker, victories, means that the Rangers are, in effect, ahead of the Panthers. Florida must do one-point better than the Rangers these last three games, or the Rangers get in. If the Rangers win two of three, they’re going to get in unless Florida can get five points out of its last three games. If the Rangers win one of three, Florida has to get three points.
AFTERNOON UPDATE, 1:48 p.m.:
Nik Antropov did not skate but said there is no structural damage in his lower body *(left knee). He plans to skate tomorrow morning, and coach John Tortorella expects that he may play tomorrow night against the Habs, according to both Steve Zipay’s and Andrew Gross’s blogs.
Also, borrowing from Andrew, these were the lines minus Antropov today:
Sean Avery-Scott Gomez-Nikolai Zherdev
Markus Naslund-Chris Drury-Ryan Callahan
Fredrik Sjostrom-Brandon Dubinsky-Lauri Korpikoski
Aaron Voros-Blair Betts-Colton Orr
Also, don’t forget our live web chat Tuesday at 1 p.m. Get your questions and comments ready.
UPDATE FROM JANE: Both games this week have moved to MSG Plus.