Where We Are: Prior to the last game against Atlanta, a 2-1 shootout loss, I wrote this: Losers of six out of seven, the Rangers are bloated lifeless corpse of a once-proud franchise. Sure there have been good moments here and there but they get more and more difficult to watch with each passing game. If something magical doesn't happen starting in this game, all hope of the playoffs will be gone... Well, now that the Blueshirts lost four of the last four, most hope is lost. Not all, but that is because hope springs eternal and all that fandom crap.
Where They Are: They have 66 points in 66 games (we have 67 in 67 and eighth place Boston has 72 in 66). This is kind of a huge game for them seeing as they have lost their last four games. If they are to shock the world and win without Kovy, it starts against us.
Who To Watch For: Seeing as the Thrashers have scored four goals in those four losses (total), you can't say that anyone in particular is coming in with a hot hand. Former Devil Niclas Bergfors started his tenure as a Thrasher off well but has cooled with the rest of the team. Slava Kozlov always kills us, Borat is sure to be tough and the Chuck Norris of hockey, Chris Chelios, is back in the NHL. Cheli can't score but it is always neat to see a future Hall of Famer in action.
What To Watch For: With Kari Lehtonen dealt to Dallas (and thus we have Alex Auld), Johan Hedberg has taken over the starters gig. The Moose kills us, every time. The Rangers throw a ton of rubber his way and he turns into Ken Dryden. Then again, with my luck picking goaltenders, Ondrej Pavelec could very well start and I've seen him do very well himself. See if the Rangers show any discipline. See how badly Redden and/or Rozy ruin any chance of victory. See how Tortorella changes the lines this time.
What We'll (Hopefully) See: As a Ranger fan I always hope to see a win but let's face it, it is best that they lose - and lose badly. The sooner the team is out of the race, the faller we fall, the better we shape we are in for the future. So watch the Rangers screw it all up by winning. At the least we should see a Jody Shelley vs Eric Boulton (or Evgeny Artyukhin) tilt.
Also Check Out: Atlanta keeps their own blog/PR machine called Blueland, the requisite MSM blog and the in-depth, well thought out fan blog Do The Thrashers Have Large Talons? (I hate the SBN name so I won't use it.)