Courage, friends - all is not lost. All may be misplaced, though. We think All must be around here somewhere but we're not exactly sure where we left it. And we'd better find it soon.
Things are very bad right now. Our beloved Rangers are tumbling. They were once tied for first in the Eastern conference. Then they tumbled down the standings. They tumbled to the brink and then out of the playoff seedings. And now they're tumbling out of contention.
In the stock market - those fat cat Wall Street guys have an expression they use when a market or a stock price - after getting hammered - makes a small - and possibly undeserved - recovery. It's called the Dead Man's Bounce.
It refers to someone jumping out the window. After falling 30 stories or more - the person will - horribly - bounce a little off the pavement before coming to a complete and final rest.
This morbid concepts illustrates a small bit of upward movement - the bounce. But that bounce is not to be trusted - because even a dead man can bounce a little if he's fallen hard and fast enough.
That awful idea may apply to our Rangers tonight. It's been so bad for so long that they have to bounce back a little tonight.
Who the Hell are we playing? It is the hated ones. The 'slanders. That team we dislike above all others - except maybe the Devils.
This may be a good thing. It's a team we dislike - so we will focus - and a team that is not all that good - so we stand a good chance.
And it's a double dip - two games against the Islanders in two days - tonight at the Garden and tomorrow on the Island.
Primary Skaters: The Islanders have two skaters with 15 goals: LW Matt Moulson and C John Tavares. RW Kyle Okpsos leads the team with 17 assists. Defenseman Jack Hillen leads the team plus-minus at +6
In Net: Dwayne Roloson has played 20 games with a 2.90 GAA and a .911 save percentage. Martin Biron has appeared in 15 games with a 3.33 GAA and a .898% save percentage. Compare those to the 28 games played by our own Henrik Lundqvist, his 2.59 GAA and his .916 save percentage.
Scoring & Defense: We score more goals than the Islanders (2.75 a game to their 2.55) although maybe not lately. And we let up less goals than the Islanders too (3.00 to their 3.24). So we have that going for us.
Special Effects: We dominate here also. Our PP is 7th best at 21.7%. The ‘slanders are 17th best at 18.5%. On the PK we are 6th best at 83.8% and the Islanders are way down at 27th with a 77.6%
Scheduling Conflicts: We played Monday. So did the Islanders. We both lost. We got a point. The Islanders had their worst loss of the season. But, both teams will be about equally tired.
Possible-Probable-Interchangeable Lines: Tortorella and his friggin lines. What a mess. Zero consistency - so zero chemistry. At this point he's probably putting the lines together in alphabetical order. So anyway – here’s best guess, but John will probably shift them mid-game anyway:
Line 1: Higgins-Dubinsky-Gaborik. The Gab Line. Introductions are still in order.
Line 2: Prospal-Drury-Callahan: The “Sweater Letter” line. Did anyone else notice – this is the Captain and his two Alternates all together on one line.
Line 3: Avery-Anisimov-Kotalik: A.K.A (get it?) The Avery Line –
Line 4: Brashear-Boyle-Lisin: Misfits and broken toys…
Back At The Blue Line: Still no Gilroy - the only Ranger defenseman with a plus-minus above the water line. So we have Redden, Rozsival, Girardi, Staal, Del Zotto and Heikkinen.
Fronting the Twine: I keep asking for Chad Johnson (and I keep getting turned down). Henrik Lundqvist is being overused - it's like using Secretariat to haul bricks the day before the Kentucky Derby.. But yes - it will be Hank again.
Dave Puck Predicts: You know - last time I predicted a shoot out and we had one. But I was on the wrong side of the outcome. This time the prediction is simpler: We win.
We win because the team is still battling, still has talent, is still listening to their coach, and is still better than the (expletive removed by Editor) Islanders
And failing that logic - we can always hope for the dead man's bounce…