Monday, April 6, 2009

Game of the Year

 What the Rangers have done this season already is meaningless starting at 7 PM tomorrow. They find themselves hanging onto 8th place in the Eastern Conference by a hair with the Florida Panthers right behind them, only the wins tiebreaker saving the Broadway Blueshirts for now. 
 Madison Square Garden will have an elimination game type atmosphere tomorrow night when the Rangers host the Montreal Canadiens. With only 3 games remaining, two of them versus the Philadelphia Flyers, the New York Rangers need to win tomorrow night. Montreal just lost to the Ottawa Senators tonight and will be playing their 3rd game in 4 nights.
 Another point to consider in the Rangers' favor is the fact that both Mathieu Schneider and Andrei Markov will be out for the Montreal Canadiens. Schneider and Markov are two huge pieces to creating offense for the Habs, not to mention are two very good DEFENSE men. The Rangers will have to exploit this if they want a chance at coming away with two points tomorrow. 
 The Rangers on the other hand are still determining whether or not forward Nik Antropov will be able to play tomorrow. Antropov was involved with a knee on knee collision with Bruins winger Milan Lucic in the last game which put him out for the rest of the game. The Ranger beat writers are reporting that he will skate tomorrow and Tortorella expects him to play tomorrow night. 
 The goaltending matchup will most likely be Carey Price and Henrik Lundqvist. The King will need to be stellar against a team that boasts some powerful offensive dynamos in Andrei Kostitsyn, Alexei Kovalev, Saku Koivu, Alex Tanguay, and more. The Rangers will need to put pressure on Montreal and not let up, especially in the third period where they have had a hard time closing games out.
 The powerplay needs to improve. They aren't even getting setup in the zone. Montreal boasts the 12th best penalty kill in the NHL so it will be a stiff test for the Rangers in trying to get things going on the man advantage. The Ranger power play is 29th in the NHL at 14%. 
 I will be there tomorrow where I expect the air to be tense and the crowd to be loud. It is do or die for the New York Rangers tomorrow. Hopefully they match the desperation that is needed in order to win this game. I certainly will be. 

No comments: