Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Game Day: Will the Lightning Strike Twice?

Happy Thanksgiving Eve everybody.  Today when so many are traveling to be with loved ones for the Holiday – our beloved New York Rangers are traveling out of town  - down to Florida – to take on the Tampa Bay Lightning.

In the last 6 games – the Rangers have 3 shut out wins – two against first place teams – by a combined score of 12-0.  And we have two shoot out losses where we collected two more points.  But the one really bad spot in that 6 game stretch was our loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning – at home – by a lopsided score of 5-1. 

Tonight the Rangers will either avenge that loss – or take more of the same.  The Lightning has a whiff of the familiar about them.  Like us, they once had John Tortorella coach them – but they won the cup with him.  They were the former homes of Brad Richards and Marty St. Louis.  And they are current home of ex-Rangers Ryan Callahan, Anton Stralman, and Brian Boyle.  So a lot of bloodlines there.  The ex-Rangers exorcized their demons when they visited the garden last week.  But today will be Marty St. Louis’ first return to his old arena after spending well over a decade in their uniform.

Where They Stand:  If Vancouver’s 2-0 lead over the Devils holds up for another 5 minutes of game time – the Rangers (with 22 points at 9-7-4) will find themselves precariously in third place in the Metropolitan division – and as such – in the playoffs if they started today – which they wouldn’t because it’s only November – but you see what I mean.   The Lightning – on the other hand – are a 2nd place team in the Atlantic division (with 30 points at 14-6-2) and have a decent grip on a playoff spot of their own.

Is He Back Yet?:  No – but Ryan McDonagh is finally practicing with the team.  He should be back on the ice in a week or two.

There’s more to say – but it’s after midnight and I’ll leave it for tomorrow.  Dave Pucks out and thanks for stopping by

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