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Thoughts heading to Calgary

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As often happens, my esteemed colleagues here at Blue Seat Blogs have comprehensively covered the vast majority of the pressing Rangers issues of the day, so I’m going to meander through some various thoughts as we approach tonight’s matchup with Calgary.

  • Tonight’s game has trap written all over it.  The Flames are terrible and the Rangers have won five in a row.  With a playoff spot looking more and more secure, it’s my biggest concern that these easy points could slip away as the team looks ahead.
  • With that said, this is a quality test for AV and the team’s leadership to keep the squad focused on the task at hand.  Home ice in the first round is still attainable, and they just need to look no further than the LA Kings of 2012 to see what a massive hot streak entering the playoffs can do for a team’s Cup aspirations.
  • For some reason, people are still giving Rick Nash crap whenever he doesn’t show up on the score sheet.  Ever since he shook off the Olympic hangover he had, he’s been a beast.  Here’s to hoping The Big Easy decides to take that snarl he had in Columbus and bring it to the playoffs.
  • After the self-indulgent ceremonies and record breaking celebrations, it looks like Henrik Lundqvist is peaking at just the right time.  His play against Philly made a difficult tilt seem like an easy, coasting victory.  If the Rangers lay an egg in the second season, I would be blown away if Hank was part of the problem.
  • The schedule has been, and rightfully so, a major discussion point down the stretch.  Colorado and Montreal are by far the most difficult matchups remaining, and the Montreal game could be meaningless by the time it rolls around (last game of the season).  It wouldn’t be irresponsible to expect 10-12 points from the remaining slate, which would put them comfortably in playoff position with 96-98 points.
  • Imagine a Tampa Bay/New York playoff matchup?  If Callahan or MSL scores early?  It’s got all the ingredients of making Florida relevant for something other than violent crime and SNL fodder.
  • Anyone think there is a way for Brad Richards to play his way out of a potential buyout?
  • My preferred first round matchup is still Philly, just because we haven’t had a real nasty playoff series in a while.  I think it would be phenomenal for all involved (except my liver).
  • Lastly, I would like to see Cam Talbot get at least 2 of these games in.  The problem is the games remaining are pretty well spaced out.  Even if Hank plays all eight remaining games, he will still be at less than 65 starts (64), for only the third time in his career (not counting the lockout year).  The last time that happened was 2011-2012, when the Blueshirts made it to the Conference Finals.
  • And lastly, something tells me Marty St. Louis is going to grab that first goal in the very near future.

Would love to hear thoughts from the community on these issues.  Just remember to keep it civil.

11 Responses to “Thoughts heading to Calgary”

  1. Chris A says:

    I’d like to see Cam start tonight. I think the Rangers play a little more focused when the kid is in goal. Could help get this roadtrip started on the right foot

  2. Rangers Fan in Boston says:

    Funny you mention the 2012 Kings. I was curious how they finished the season that year, since they represent a successful path the Rangers can attempt to duplicate.

    Contrary to my memory, while they had a 6 game winning streak in March, they finished the season with only 3 wins in their last 8 (3 of those losses were in OT/SO, including the final 2 of the season). Not as hot as I thought they were going in. It kind of threw off my thought that they were a very hot team going in.

    Oh, and regarding Brad Richards: no way in hell is there anything he can do that would prevent his buyout. Cup or no Cup, you can’t keep that cap hit on the books.

    • Galen H says:

      I agree on Richards. It is a shame, they didn’t allow an option for players to initiate/allow a restructuring of a contract in lieu of a direct buyout. Player option of course.

      On Nash as well. I noticed in the last two games a lot of the good defensive work he’s been doing. Whether it is just settling pucks in the defensive zone with his great stick skills and size or killing PKs, the man does more than just score. Granted he’s paid to score, but at least if you aren’t scoring you better contribute in other ways.

  3. Spozo says:

    You had me when you said “if MSL scores early”.

  4. Hatrick Swayze says:

    Made some good points, Justin. The most entertaining of which was

    “Imagine a Tampa Bay/New York playoff matchup? If Callahan or MSL scores early? It’s got all the ingredients of making Florida relevant for something other than violent crime and SNL fodder.”

    Spot on with Lundqvist. He has looked very focused recently.

    Regarding the Philly series, I’m on board with you. Would turn into an absolute shootshow for me. My only concern for the team would be that it would turn into some chippy nonsense resulting in a potential injury. Case in point Simmonds stick vs McDonagh’s hand.

  5. Chris F says:

    Kreider had surgery today. He’s out indefinitely.

    Prognosis for surgical repair of a broken hand is probably going to keep him out of the playoffs.

  6. mikeyyy says:

    Only way be avoids a buyout is leading the league in playoff scoring and winning the Conn Smythe.

    I’m more concerned the team does not have a captain named.

    surgery on kreiders hand means displaced fracture with some shattering of bone. Out for a long time and his hand may never heal right.

    • Chris F says:

      They have plenty of leaders. No need to saddle someone with the burden of captaincy amidst a playoff run.

      Next year McD can carry the flag.

      • Mikeyyy says:

        The captain and assistants are allowed to talk to the refs. Why limit yourself. Plus I think the c holds a lot of value. To the players themselves.

  7. Ray says:

    Counting the Olympics, Henrik may still be over 70 — and the Olympics very much count. It is time to forget about home ice and time to focus on being rested and sharp.

    Concerning Richards, I am not assuming a buyout. If Sather doesn’t think he has a better way to spend the money next year, he may just keep Brad.

    • Chris F says:

      It’s about much more than next year though. Buy him out this summer or have his cap hit til he’s 42. No dice.