The New York Rangers face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at 7 bells. It is the first of two games against the red hot Penguins. Given the state of the Mass Mutual Division, the entire season comes down to the next 4 points.
As it stands right now, the Rangers are 11 points behind the Penguins who are 3rd in the division and 5 points behind the Bruins who hold the 4th spot. The Rangers have played 37 games, the Penguins have played 38, and the Bruins 35. It’s certainly a lofty goal but anything can happen.
If the Rangers can win the next two games, the gap between the Rangers and Penguins would close from 11 points to 7. With the game in hand, the gap could potentially close to 5. This is if everything goes the Rangers way. But the Rags have one thing going for them. The strength of schedule serves them well. Even if the Rangers take 3 of 4 points. They can turn the tables with the four game series against the New Jersey Devils. A tough match up for sure, but a team that the Rangers could handle and pick up 7-8 points. At this point in the season, the New York Rangers have to be damn near perfect. But whenever I seem to count this team out, they pull me right back in and the roller coaster season continues…
3 players to watch:
Kreider has become a pumpkin again. He better find his glass slipper because we need him to give us that goal scoring machine these next few weeks.
Shesty has to be perfect. He’s been playing great since his groin injury and we will need him to continue his dominance. We have no time for softies or an “off” game.
Chytil needs to take his game into another gear in April. Our third line center has to contribute on the stat sheet and relieve the pressure of our first two lines.