It couldn’t have fallen any better for the Rangers than it has. They have won one of their last five games and yet they can still make the playoffs—still, even, finish seventh.
But the losing must stop tonight. It must.
Seventh-place Montreal lost to Ottawa last night. Not only that, but the Habs’ Mathieu Schneider and Andrei Markov are out for the season. And goalie Carey Price is battling the flu. And the Canadiens come to MSG tonight having played last night, and three in four nights, while the Blueshirts have been off and rested since Saturday afternoon.
The only downside for the Rangers is that two-time Ranger Alex Kovalev is smokin’ hot (8-8-16 in his last seven games) and we all know that, when he wants to play, he’s as dangerous as any player in the league. And he always wants to play against the Rangers.
Flip side: If the Rangers lose, they can kiss seventh goodbye, and they might have to sweep the Flyers Thursday and Sunday, and get help, to make the playoffs.
Here are two other bonuses for the Rangers: 1) Buffalo lost last night and pretty much removed itself from the proceedings; 2) The Habs play a style opposite of the Boston system that stifled the Rangers’ pop-gun offense Saturday, so this should be a skating, attacking game, one perhaps, dare we say, in which there could be seven goals or more scored.
ONE FINAL REMINDER: Jane and I will do a live video chat today at 1 p.m. You can access it here.
You can also type in: www.lohud.com/rangersreportlive.
Just wanted to add that this is probably the best sports week of the whole year: NCAA championship game (yawner that it was), Opening Days, the Masters and the last week of the NHL’s wild playoff races.