Rangers vs. Canadiens

VS. 

When: 7 PM on MSG

Canadiens- 5-5-2 VS. Rangers 5-3-3

Thoughts: This is the second to last game during this current homestretch for the New York Rangers.  In recent years the Rangers have had problems winning at home.  So far during this stretch at home the Rangers are 2-2.  They currently are on a two game win streak and look to continue to build on that tonight.  In recent days the Rangers have been filled with bad news.  Wojtek Wolski was placed on IR as we as Mike Rupp.  The rangers are still out without the best defenseman in Marc Staal.  The Rangers have learned in past years how important it is to get early season wins at home.  For the last two seasons there playoff faith has been decided during the final week.  This team is going to influence their style of play.  The defense has been very strong the last two games even with the  absence of Staal.  Lundqvist played extremely well on Wednesday and I wouldn’t be surprised if he does not have his best game of the season tonight.    Gaborik has been skating as he used to in Minnesota and his play is crucial tonight.

X-Factor: Tonights x-factor is Sean Avery who is making is Rangers season debut.  The crowd has been demanding him and now will get to see him.  With the injury to Wolski the Rangers need someone to step up.  This could not have worked out any better for Sean.  If he uses his swagger and stays smart his presence will defiantly be felt. The biggest concern is the fact that he is prone to taking bad penalties.  Besides Callahan not a single person on this team brings emotion to the game as Avery does.  He loves New York and wears the sweater with pride.  If Avery performs well the Rangers can survive with all of these injuries.

A side not to this drama is what happens if Avery does perform.  John Tortorella said that there are better players on this team than Sean.  Would we see him bite his tongue for once and admit he was wrong or find another way to hold his grudge on Avery.  It is clear that these two do not get along but their relationship can’t affect the team on the whole.  Someone has to be the bigger man and deal with it.  The last thing this team has to deal with is drama between a coach and player over personal vendettas.

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