A Season Down In Flames?
If you talk to as many Ranger fans as I do, you would think the Blueshirts were eliminated from the playoffs yesterday. Nothing could be further from the truth. Matter of fact, the Rangers control their destiny more than most teams. The key here will be winning 2 out of the next 3 or picking up at least 4 points on this West trip.
Starting in Edmonton tomorrow night and Vancouver on Tuesday, represents the 2 most likely games the Rangers can win. Losing either and the trip is in jeopardy as they finish in Colorado. Still, this squad is good enough to take all three.
Let’s not lose sight that the Rangers are playing great hockey and all teams suffer bumps on the road of any season. Factor in the long flight and the fact that Calgary is playing strong hockey lately and everyone should relax. Yes, the lowly Flames are 9-6 in March and have not lost a game by more than 1 goal. They even beat SJ and rocked Anaheim 7-2! Lundqvist said as much, “You can’t take anything for granted, they have been beating a lot of teams. They’re playing for pride and for jobs.” Meaning, calm down people.
The good news is that the players realize they played poorly and will correct it in Edmonton. “We made mistakes that we don’t usually make, we got a little careless and when that happens, the odds are not in your favor” said an honest Brad Richards.
Bottom line, the Rangers are still in 2nd place by a point and should be able to hold it. Worst case scenario, they land in the 3rd spot. Either way this team is playoff bound.
KREIDER UPDATE: Chris Kreider underwent successful surgery on his left hand in Manhattan. Apparently, Kredier wanted to play though the injury only to be shut down by Glen Sather himself. The Don of the NY Ranger family must’ve given Kreider an offer he couldn’t refuse. With so much on the line this season, I have to believe that the decision was made with the hope that the strapping LW would be available during the first round.