A week ago the Rangers played a thrilling game against New Jersey and followed it up with a woeful performance against Ottawa. Sunday the Rangers played a thrilling game against Montreal and we will see how they follow it up Tuesday when they face Tampa Bay at the Garden (7 p.m. on Versus).
Where We Are: Coming off of one exciting win against the Habs and 4-2-3 since the calendar change. But at the same time, just one point ahead of the eighth place Islanders. The Islanders. Ugh.
Where They Are: Playing the second half of back-to-backs after beating Carolina 3-2 tonight. They sit in 13th place with 48 points but are just four back of the Isles. Parity and all that crap I guess. Tampa is 4-4 in 2010 and lost a home and home against the Panthers before beating the Canes.
Who To Watch For: Dustin Tokarski played a perfect period in relief in one of those losses to Florida but has yet to start a NHL game. I'm not quite sure an organization even as dysfunctional as the Bolts would throw the kid in to make his first start in MSG so we will likely see Antero Niittymaki play for the second straight night (Mike Smith is hurt). You never know though. Outside of the crease there are the usual suspects in mighty midget Marty St. Louis, Vinny04 Lecavalier, Seen Steve Stamkos, Ryan Bugsy Malone and Steve Downie Syndrome.
What To Watch For: Donald Brashear possibly getting back in the lineup if only to justify his existence by fighting Zenon Konopka. But, seeing as Z is the NHL leader in PIM, Brash will go back to his role as the Cowardly Lion allowing Aaron Voros to play. Which is ok too for your fisticuff folks as Voros and Malone have a history. See if the Ranger D step up and keep Bugsy away from Hank. See if any Ranger forward is bold enough to throw themselves in front of a Kurtis Foster slap shot from the point. See how they were able to fit "Szczechura" on the back of a jersey.
What We'll (Hopefully) See: A Ranger effort on par with that of the second two periods on Monday. The scoring binge continuing, and perhaps Vinny Prospal putting one (or two or three) in against his former team. Hank not letting fellow Swede Mattias Ohlund to score and out-dueling the Finny Niitty. Jewish Jeff Halpern eating too much at Katz's and snapping his four game point streak. Ohlund being exhausted after skating for more than 25 minutes - including five on the penalty kill - against Carolina.
Also Check Out: The Hockey Bay, the MSM Lightning Strikes and SBN's Raw Charge are worth checking out.