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.