I can’t even imagine what this place is going to be like if the Rangers don’t start winning soon. Yesterday we fired the coach and traded the goalie! The goalie who is the reason why they’re in sniffing distance of a playoff spot, who pretty much acts as the team captain, who along with Marian Gaborik is one of two legit top-shelf players on the roster.
I don’t get that. I also don’t buy this idea that the Rangers need to be further torn apart — i.e. trading Lundqvist and any young-ish players of value — in order to start over. I think that makes this team worse now, and worse in the immediate future, and potentially much worse, if those draft picks/prospects you might get in trading Lundqvist and Callahan and Dubinsky and Staal, et al, don’t then turn into stars themselves. I always point to the Islanders post-1993.
Anyway, the Rangers aren’t out of it, but in order to get the nine or 10 wins they might need in these final 15 games they’re going to need to win three or four in a row sooner or later (sooner). I don’t believe in Must Games with that much time left, but this is as close as it gets to a Must Game.
Let’s not forget that in less than two weeks, they start a six-game road trip. So tonight in Atlanta,against a team in the race, with the Rangers having rested in their hotel in Atlanta while the Thrashers were playing on the road last night, is enormous.
Me, I just found out my PC’s fixed, but I won’t have time to pick it up until Monday. I’m headed for a basketball quadruple-header and then home to catch Rangers in 60. Hopefully I’ll remember to put up a pregame thread.
AFTERNOON UPDATE, 12 NOON: Per Steve Zipay, Sean Avery will be scratched tonight. Interesting. I thought he was benched for the third period in Jersey the other night. Don’t know what it is this time, and I don’t mind a player being held accountable (finally!). But why is it always the same few player(s)? Avery has been a sad shadow of the player he was after he came back late last season. No doubt. But what about some of the other guys who regularly botch up, go through the motions, or act sometimes as if they’d rather be somewhere else?
Also, it appears 97-year-old Chris Chelios will play for the Thrashers tonight.