The Blueshirts barely hanging onto the final playoff spot in the East with only 12 games to go isn’t entirely their fault. The two hottest teams in the conference outside of Boston happen to be the two teams they’re jockeying with in the Metro. Philly has blown by NY with a 3-point lead & game in hand – but they’ll have a chance to rein them in Wednesday night when the Flyers visit MSG. The first order of measure though is to take down an equally hot Columbus team. Both are knotted in the standings with the Jackets holding a game in hand as well, and there’s no doubt Brandon Dubinsky is chomping at the bit to piss all over his former team’s playoff push. The Rangers are gonna have to show the sense of urgency fans have been waiting for & come out with a crucial regulation W or their season might start circling the drain.
Different year, same problem though. Once again, the Blueshirts are stuck in an offensive rut. The acquisition of Marty St. Louis was supposed to make sure this didn’t happen. Instead, NY has tallied just 15 goals over his first 7 games before their outbust in Ottawa. Since his arrival, MSL’s still searching for his first goal as a Ranger while his buddy Brad Richards has totaled just a pair of assists. Richards couldn’t even muster a point or a plus despite NY hanging an 8-spot Tuesday night. There’s obviously no telling if Callahan’s presence would’ve made any difference in their recent struggles, but the early returns on the deadline blockbuster are zero.
These next few games may not make but can certainly break the Rangers’ season. Matchups against Columbus & Philly are their last two against anyone that matters. Even if they take both, they’ll still have to finish hot to avoid a wild-card showdown with the B’s or Pens. Lose tonight though and a potential first-round exit might end up being the best-case scenario. Pressure’s on. It’s time for studs to play like studs – so let’s see what you got, Marty. Do you actually want to make a mark as a Blueshirt or did you just wanna cry your way out of Tampa because Stevie Y’s a meanie? Looking forward to the answer tonight.