Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! The Rangers will face their Original Six foes, the Boston Bruins with - what everyone is saying - their playoff lives on the line. If they win, the slow death that is the end of this atrocious season continues. If they lose, it will be all-but-over. As you can see in the poll, fans seem to be split as to what they want.
But, you know, once a horse is critically injured, they just shoot it. This team was hobbled from the start thanks to its coach and general manager. So I'm in the contingent that will be hoping that the Bruins fire the shotgun tomorrow.
The game will be at 12:30 on NBC.
Where We Are: Thanks to Atlanta ridding themselves of the albatrosses that were Lehtinen and Kovalchuk, they supplanted the Blueshirts for ninth place last night. The Thrashers beat the listing Philly ship 5-2, despite a goal by Blair Betts. Poor Bettsy. Atlanta has 73 points in 71 games, the Rangers have 71 in 71.
Where They Are: Boston has 74 in 70 and are still sitting in eight place despite being just 1-8-3 at home since the Winter Classic. And I thought we sucked in the Garden ... The Bruins have lost three of their last four and are looking so bad that Stanley Cup of Chowder is calling for fans to stop showing up and for Claude Julien to be fired. And his team is in a playoff position.
Who To Watch For: Marc Savard is out so there are no real big guns. Mark Recchi is like 65 years old and yet still manages to kill the Rangers. Marco Sturm is slumping, as is Zdeno Chara and Milan Lucic is a shadow of himself. Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci were doing well but both have been nicked up - Bergeron has a bad knee and Krejci was out in that storm there last week to start his car and didn't have his jacket on. Maybe it settled in his kidneys.
What To Watch For: Whether or not all of the rhetoric that the Rangers have thrown out there about this being a Game 7 and do or die and about desperation is just words. Boston snapping out of their funk and coming together without Savvy now that the Cooke specter has been lifted (poorly if you ask me, but whatever).
What We'll (Hopefully) See: AS I said, I'm hoping for a loss. And not just a loss - a big loss, a disastrous loss. Do I think it would change anything? No, not really, but I kinda hope so. We all know that Dolan only cares about dollars and not making the players literally robs him of millions. He has to notice that. But I would also love to see Avery knock Thomas upside the head again and maybe Shawn Thornton vs Jody Shelley. But that would be asking a lot as Shelley seems to be another enforcer who doesn't want to fight - filling Brashear's shoes quite capably.
Also Check Out: Hub Hockey, Stanley Cup of Chowder, Cornelius Hardenbergh and the Hockey Blog Adventure and the Boston Globe's Bruins Blog.