Found January 17, 2012 on Blue Seat Blogs:

The Rangers have lost two of three, and looked exceptionally poor in those two losses. Sandwiched in between was one dominant performance over the Toronto Maple Leafs, but the playoff-bound Ottawa Senators and the woeful Montreal Canadiens took the Rangers to school, beating the Blueshirts by a combined score of 7-1. The Rangers were without Brandon Dubinsky for both games and without Ruslan Fedotenko for one, but injuries are no excuse in this league.

This week, the Rangers will have the Nashville Predators, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Boston Bruins. All three are playoff bound, with just Pittsburgh on the bubble. Each team has a different style of play that will test the Rangers.

True contenders win games in many different ways. It is something that the Rangers have done all year. They have outscored opponents in shootouts, they have shut down the opposition defensively in defensive battles, they have out-grinded the grinders, and they have out-hit the physical teams. Simply put, they have found a way to win games. This trait is a trait that their next three opponents share.

The Predators aren’t a high scoring team, and they are middle of the road defensively (per total goals for – 120 in 45 games). They just find ways to win by grinding it out and out hustling the opposition. It helps that they have two stud defensemen and a Vezina caliber goaltender as well, but that hasn’t shown itself on the stat line.

The Penguins are roughed up pretty badly, with just seven players that have played in at least 40 of their 44 games thus far. They have been without Sidney Crosby all year, and are currently without Jordan Staal. Through all that, they have found a way to win with James Neal carrying the brunt of the scoring responsibility. Unlike the Predators, the Penguins look to outscore opponents, and will climb back into the middle seeds once they get healthy.

The Bruins are just flat out awesome, and the best team in the NHL. They are the perfect NHL club right now, and something that the Rangers hope to be in the near future. However, the Rangers always play the Bruins tough, and they will need to be perfect in their own right to take down the best team in the NHL. The Bruins are capable of outscoring the Rangers in a shootout, out defending them in a defensive battle, and out grinding them in a physical game.

Three games. Three playoff teams. Three different styles. Three ways the Rangers can prove again that they are among the elite in the league. One chance to get back on track before what is essentially a week off.

But let’s remember, even if the Rangers play .500 hockey over their last 39 games, they still finish with 99 points and what will likely be a top-three seed.


Stepan Offers Bang for the Buck

E.J. Hradek at gives his top 10 players who offer the best bang for the buck including Derek Stepan...10. Derek Stepan, C, RangersA second-round pick in 2008 (No. 51), the Minnesota native has found a nice chemistry with Rangers' star sniper Marian Gaborik. That's important. After putting up 21 goals and 45 points in his rookie year; Stepan is making a steady progress...

Lundqvist Crown Collection Launching 1/19

Yesterday, I posted that Henrik Lundqvist will be launching a clothing line called the "Crown Collection." Here's a preview of one of the items which will be unveiled January 19th...Proceeds from the sale will go to the Garden of Dreams Foundation....that hat is pretty sweet. Can't wait to see the rest of the collection.Remember to follow me on Twitter & Facebook...

Postgame Interviews with Callahan, Girardi, Mitchell and Lundqvist After Win

… Ryan Callahan said what I was thinking, this isn’t your typical Rangers from the last few seasons. One loss does not snowball out of control and lead to long losing streaks. They have bounced back very quickly from a loss to take control of the next game.  If the Rangers keep playing this way, [...]

It’s time for your Preds and Rangers LEFTGOVERS…

New York Rangers 3, Nashville Predators 0 Madison Square Garden January 17, 2012 LEFTOVER THOUGHTS: * Coming into Tuesday’s game, the Rangers were 20-1-1 this season when scoring first. * Additionally, they were 17-0-2 when leading after two periods. * Ryan Suter missed the game with an upper-body injury. * Seeing as how this is his first absence this season, the Predators are...

Inevitable Rangers @ Canadiens Post Game Thoughts…

Rangers don’t win in Montreal. Period. Anyone who is shocked we lost should have their head examined. We don’t win in Montreal. WE DON’T WIN IN MONTREAL. Rangers should just concede these 2 games every year and not even make the trip. That’s all I’m going to say on this game. Honestly, I probably should have just written this one before the game and skipped it altogether...

Tuesday (1/17/12) Headlines

Bergen Record - Marc Staal struggling to find comfort zoneNew York Post - Rangers confident slump will endDaily News - Rangers need to light the lampNew York Times - Dilapidated Distinction for the Rangers’ BestNewsday - Rangers hope Dubinsky can add firepowerRemember to follow me on Twitter & Facebook or e-mail me at

Read: Rangers Have What it Takes to be a Stanley Cup Contender

Patrick Hoffman of PowerScout Hockey says today “believe it or not, this year’s Rangers’ hockey club might have their best chance to win a Cup since 1994.” And I have to say I totally agree with my good friend. The “King” is 19-9-4 with a 1.95 goals against average, a .935 save percentage and 3 [...]

Rangers/Predators In Review

This, as expected, was a relatively boring game. The Predators ran their 1-2-2/1-4 trap to perfection, but the Rangers were able to adjust to a dump and chase and generate some goals off board play. In the end, it was a grind it out game that had the Rangers emerge victorious, with another shutout for Henrik Lundqvist. This was a very important win for the Rangers who had lost two...

Henrik Lundqvist shuts out Predators, Rangers end Nashville's winning streak at 5 games, 3-0

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Predators at Rangers tonight

Pre-game notes courtesy of the Rangers: NEW YORK RANGERS vs. NASHVILLE PREDATORS Tuesday, Jan. 17, 7:30 p.m. Madison Square Garden – New York, New York Rangers: 28-11-4 (60 pts) Predators: 26-15-4 (56 pts) All information through NHL games on Jan. 15 TONIGHT’S GAME: The Rangers will face-off against the Nashville Predators at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m.; TV: NBC...

Rangers' Marc Staal struggling to find comfort zone

Marc Staal doesn't feel quite right. No, not his head. But Staal is battling to regain his All-Star form after...

Morning Skate: Game 46 at NY Rangers

6:30 PM CT – Predators (26-15-4) @ Rangers (28-11-4)Players to watch:NSH- Shea WeberWith Ryan Suter likely out, the onus will be on the defense to step up collectively. Look for Weber’s ice-time to be in the 28-30 minute range.NYR- Brad RichardsRichards has gone pointless over the last four games, but has 23 points in 20 career games vs. Nashville.Starting goaltenders:NSH- Pekka...

Predators, Rangers on NHL lines

The New York Rangers will be looking to bounce back from a 4-1 loss to Montreal last time out when they host the Nashville Predators in NHL betting action on Tuesday night. Nashville has won four straight and eight of their last 10 games to stay right on the heels of the top teams in the Western Conference. New York will be likely home favorites in this contest...

Better Relief Celebration: Boyle or Dubinsky?

During last night's 3-0 Rangers victory over Toronto, Brian Boyle scored his first goal in 22 games and celebrated by looking to the heavens and giving thanks (video here)...Which was very reminiscent of Brandon Dubinsky's celebration after waiting 15 games to score his first goal of the season (video here) the question is, who had the better relief goal celebration...
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