The Rangers have been playing great hockey and I must say i've been impressed with their play the entire season. If they want to continue this play into the playoffs though their going to need their best defenseman back on the blue line though and that means Marc Staal and Michael Sauer need to return and be 100% recovered from their injuries. My dream for the Rangers blue line at the start of playoffs is this:
Eminger/Bickel as the 7th man. I've been really impressed with Stralman so far and think he is a much better than woywitka or eminger. Bickel, while I think he's been great so far with us this season I still think his defense is worse than Stralman and his shot from the point is no where near stralman so i'd have to go with stralman again.
Our offense has been great also, with our top 2 lines putting up points night in and night out. But for us to go on a cup run we're really going to need everyone to have career playoff years, not to mention get scoring from all 4 lines.
Here's my hope: Rangers make it to the conference finals this year or at least the second round. Then when Kreider and the boys are ready the Rangers take the next step and make it to SCF at very least if not win it all.
I think the organization really needs to stress to the players that they should play as if they contenders. I thought last year was good for the club to get some sense of what playoff hockey feels like and this year they should feel like they can win it all.
Maybe you guys think i'm jumping the gun with this post but I sincerely believe it's time this team starts believing it can win the cup because not too far from now they will have all the weapons they need.
Also I realize Staal and Sauer's statuses are completely up in the air but you have to hypothetically think for this post they will come back 100%.