The schedule surges on and the Rangers are back in action Saturday with an afternoon matinee up in Kanata. They face off against the Senators at 2 p.m. on MSG or CBC for the lucky ones.
Where We Are: Trying to re-inflate the egos after a pretty flat 5-3 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday night. The loss was the third in their last four and fifth in their last seven games. Not good, not good at all.
Where They Are: Ottawa is coming off of an embarrassing 5-1 loss at the hands of former goaltender Ray Emery and the Flyers. The Sens still sit just three points behind the Rangers in the standings, with three games in hand.
Who To Watch For: The usual suspects in Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza. Milan Michalek, who Ottawa got in return for Dany Heatley, has seven goals and is tied for the team lead with Mike Fisher - better known as Mr. Carrie Underwood. Former Ranger Alex Kovalev has been completely underwhelming with just eight points in 16 games, which likely means he will be good for a hat trick on Saturday. Ryan Shannon, who I had high hopes for this season, has just one assist in 11 games (typical).
What To Watch For: Everyone's favourite scumbag Jarkko Ruutu is still a Sen, as is general pain Chris Neil. Neil is second in the NHL with 60 PIM and his teammate Matt Carkner is sixth with 50. Combine that with Ruutu's 43 and you have three guys who are going to take it to the Rangers physically. Good thing they demoted Dane Byers and called up P.A. Parenteau.
What We'll (Hopefully) See: The Rangers finally realizing they are a team and standing up for each other. The Blueshirts to be like Bettsy and score a power play goal. Jarkko to do something stupid and get himself suspended forever. Kotalik to get that shot of his on net more. Higgins and Callahan to break through and score a goal or two. Brian Boyle to win a faceoff. Rozsival to not suck too badly.
Also Check Out: Sens Army and Five For Smiting and Black Aces, no not Nick Kypreos and Mike Hartman.