Where We Are: As Andrew Gross pointed out his posts today, Torts is in a terse mood and trying new lines, exactly what you want from your leader while you make a final run at the playoffs. And even though it is probably best for the team (and us fans) not to make the postseason, the Rangers are only three points behind Boston, who has just one game in hand.
Where They Are: Amazingly, St. Louis fans are having the same conversations we are having - is it best for the team not to make the second season??? They have a higher hill to climb than the Rangers, trailing eighth place Detroit by seven points but they had won four of five out of the Olympic break prior to losing Sunday and Tuesday (to Minnesota and Colorado respectively).
Who To Watch For: J.D. is doing things right and his rebuilding efforts are coming to fruition - there is a lot of young, good talent on that roster. From Olympians David Backes, Erik Johnson and Roman Polak to future Olympians Patrik Berglund and T. J. Oshie, the Blues will be loaded for a few years to come. Berglund has eight points in his last nine games. There is solid veteran talent in
What To Watch For: See just how much chemistry the new Ranger lines have. A half empty Garden - they aren't winning and are playing a random West team devoid of 'name' stars so who wants to spend a ton of money to see them on the day after St. Patrick's? See the young tough kids taking advantage of the Pillsbury-soft Ranger blueline to get at Hank. Brad Boyes scored 43 goals two years ago, 33 last year and has just 12 now ... which means that the Rangers should give up a hat trick to him.
What We'll (Hopefully) See: Signs of life from Marian Gaborik, Vinny Prospal and Olli Jokinen. The Chris Mason in goal that has allowed eight goals in his last four periods of play, not the one that shut down the Islanders. Cam Janssen vs Sean Avery in a who-can-be-a-bigger-pain-in-the-ass contest. B.J. Crombeen vs. Jody Shelley in a legitimate, not pre-planned, not fight for the sake of fighting fight.
Also Check Out: SBN's St. Louis Game Time is the top St. Louis site IMO but you can also stop by Let's Go Blues and Jeremy Rutherford's MSM blog Morning Skate.