The Rangers will get a chance to make a big statement when they kick off a massive week on Monday with a game against the Bruins at the real Garden at 7 p.m. on Versus. Four games in six days starting with the B's, then the Stars and Thrashers back to back followed by the B's again but up in Bahston. Sweep all four, leap up the standings and everyone is happy. Win three and everyone is still pretty happy. Win two with at least one at home and everyone will calm down but not be happier than they are now. Win one, the grumbling continues. Lose all four ... let's not even think about that.
Where We Are: Actually holding a playoff position: the Rangers sit eighth in the East with 43 points, one more than Atlanta and Tampa and two less than Montreal (who have played three more games). But, at the same time they are just 1-5-3 at home in the last nine.
Where They Are: Fifth in the conference with 49 points in 40 games after grabbing two at Fenway. Winners of five of their last six.
Who To Watch For: Given our luck, Milan Lucic should return to the Boston lineup. He came off the IR but decided he wasn't fit enough to play in the Classic. Seeing as Kovy and Ovie both were able to come back juuuuust in time to play in New York, Lucic may as well. The Bruins just signed our old friend Miro Satan and he practiced with them over the weekend but, seeing as he hasn't played a single game all season, he may not be ready to play. Aside from that possible pair, there are still Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Marco Sturm. Oh yeah, and that Chara guy.
What To Watch For: Not a whole helluva lot of scoring; three of the last four games between these two teams finished 1-0 . Boston has no qualms with going hard to the net - as shown in the Fenway game - so you have to see how the Rangers react to a Big Bad presence around Hank. Steve Begin has shown past success against the Rangers when he throws his body around, and fellow teammates Shawn Thornton, Blake Wheeler and Byron Bitz all have the size to punish the undersized Blueshirts as well. If Torts dresses Aaron Voros again, he had better play him more than two minutes...
What We'll (Hopefully) See: A home win. The Rangers not giving up - after getting so many chances and blowing most all of them, it would be easy for them to sit back. Only leadership and pride could stop them from doing it and all too often this season both have been in short supply.
Also Check Out: Hub Hockey, Stanley Cup of Chowder, Cornelius Hardenbergh and the Hockey Blog Adventure and the Boston Globe's Bruins Blog.