Thursday, April 09, 2009

Rangers Need Win Tonight

The New York Rangers have been a compelling team this year for all of the wrong reasons, but tonight they can take a step toward changing that. A win at Madison Square Garden over the Philadelphia Flyers would put the Blueshirts in the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

For me, the Rangers took their personality out of the team when they decided to let Jaromir Jagr and Brendan Shanahan walk as free agents. Former coach Tom Renney, if he was behind those decisions, clearly miscalculated.

Under Renney the Broadway Blues were playing a defense first, last and always style of play. The problem was that the Rangers didn’t have the personnel like the ’95 Devils to play that stingy system.

John Tortorella – already an enemy of the media – was brought it to fire this team up and he has done so to a certain degree with the Rangers more up-tempo style of play. Realistically, I think the Rangers work better somewhere in between.

Changes are on the way in the off-season, but a win tonight will wipe away some of the bland taste of this 2008-2009 season. With Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes and guys like Ryan Callahan surging, the Rangers will be dangerous in the playoffs and is there anyone that doesn't think that Martin Brodeur would rather not have to deal with Sean Avery and the Rangers in the first round.

Before all that though, there's one game on the table that means something. Win tonight and the Rangers can be a pain in the neck for teams with Stanley Cup dreams like the Devils and Bruins.

It starts tonight.

No comments: