After being stuck in Philadelphia for an extra day, the Rangers headed to Carolina today to prepare for their faceoff against the Hurricanes in Raleigh at 7 p.m. on MSG.
Where We Are: Remarkably two points out of a playoff spot after two straight wins. And the surprising part is that the Rangers actually have two games in hand on Florida, the team they trail for eighth. Rangers. Games in hand. Definitely a nice change of pace.
Where They Are: Last place in the NHL but slowly turning things around. After struggling with major injuries (Ward and Staal) and major disappointments (Brind'Amour), Carolina is getting healthy and has won two of their last three games.
Who To Watch For: The older Staal brother has 12 points in his last eight games and Pat Dwyer (who?) has two goals in each of his last two games but the biggest threat is probably Tuomo Ruutu, who always seems to do well against the Blueshirts. The ageless Ray Whitney is still around as is our old friend Matt Cullen, who just scored a goal in the Canes last game. But no Erik Cole, no Joe Corvo and no Chad LaRose.
What To Watch For: Cam Ward has given up 15 goals in the four games since returning from injury but is certainly capable of turning back into the stellar netminder that won a Cup and was outstanding last season. See how Wade Redden responds to his benching in his first game back. See if Chris Drury and Arty Anisimov can turn back-to-back games with goals into legitimate goal streaks.
What We'll (Hopefully) See: Dare I say it? Three in a row? Three in a row. There, I said it. And that is all I hope to see.
Also Check Out: Red and Black Hockey, Canes Country and Lord Stanley's Blog.