Rangers Vs. Wild: These Points Are Important And Some Ryan Haggerty Thoughts

Grant Halverson

Just some notes to get you through the afternoon.

- We may as well start with the headline, "These Points Are Important." And they are. Columbus and Philadelphia are tied for third place (Columbus owns the tiebreaker) with 73 points. The Rangers are in second place with 74 points. The good news? The Rangers have one more ROW than both teams. The bad news? Both teams have a game in hand. Which is why losing to Carolina on Tuesday was such a bad loss, but let's not live in the past.

- In terms of the big picture? Tampa Bay (75 points) and Philadelphia (73 points) hold down the two wild card spots. The Rangers have two more ROWs than Tampa Bay, but they have one more point and a game in hand. The lesson? Make sure you're grabbing one of those three top spots.

Cam Talbot is getting the start tonight, which isn't surprising at all. There were rumbles Alain Vigneault was going to split Henrik Lundqvist and Talbot in these back-to-back games, which is smart. There's no need to burn out Lundqvist, and Talbot has more than proved he's capable of giving the Rangers a great chance to win.

- Crazy prediction, Martin St. Louis breaks out of his goal funk tonight. I know, I know, it's not a massive guess, but I have a good feeling he's going to find the back of the net.

- Another crazy prediction, once he does score, the floodgates open.

- Evan is going to have some deeper information on the Ryan Haggerty signing soon, but there are a couple of interesting things to note about the move. The biggest one? The Rangers brass made a point to say they've had their eyes on Haggerty for a long time, and that he was at the top of their list in terms of NCAA free agents. The second? There were a ton of teams interested in his services. The third? The Rangers feel as though Haggerty will soften the blow of the draft picks they gave up to get St. Louis.

- Just to clarify a few things about Haggerty: He will burn a year off his ELC this year. He will be eligible to play in the NHL this year. He will NOT be able to play in the playoffs. You can't compare his situation to Chris Kreider's, since Haggerty was signed as an NCAA free agent. Kreider being drafted by the Rangers put him on the reserve list which made him eligible for the playoffs.

- I personally think Haggerty will see some time this year. The Rangers said one of the pushes they made to get him to come to Broadway was putting him right with the big club. But as a bigger right wing who can score? I can't see a reason not to give him a shot. The year is burning off his ELC anyway, may as well.

Thoughts?

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