New York Rangers Open Game Thread: Rangers Vs. Avalanche

Jim McIsaac

Jazzalanche? Jazzalanche.

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The Rangers are looking to make it three in a row against the up and coming Colorado Avalanche tonight. Colorado has won four straight coming into tonight's game and are 6-3-1 in their last ten games. The Rangers are 8-2-0 in their last ten and are just three points away from clinching a spot in the 2014 NHL Playoffs.

The Avalanche are without former Ranger P.A. Parenteau, Matt Duchene, and Alex Tanguay for tonight's contest but are hardly a pushover without those names in the lineup. The Rangers are going to have pepper Semyon Varlamov with shots and continue their improved special teams play against an electric young team that currently sits second in their division with 102 points. Looks like that Patrick Roy fella is pretty good at this whole "coaching" thing, huh?

If Stallone could conquer that dick John Lithgow, a snowy avalanche-happy mountain, and a bunch of mercenaries with sub machine guns back in 1993 I am sure the Rangers can find a way to handle the Avalanche tonight. We should be nervous if we see Lithgow in the crowd though. Just can't trust that guy.

(Yes, I am running out of ideas for Game Threads. Do something about it tough guy.)

Mike's Player to Watch: Derek Stepan

Despite there being a seemingly disproportionate amout of Stepan doubters and naysayers in the Rangers fanbase Derek has been red hot since the Olympic break. Stepan is now second on the team, behind the magical Mats Zuccarello, with 53 points in 77 games. If not for Stepan's slow start to the season and a few scoring droughts he could very well be looking at at approaching the 70 point mark right now. Stepan has cooled down a bit recently but his decisions with the puck have looked better and you can tell that he is starting to play with some more confidence. Look for Stepan to be a big factor against Colorado tonight in a big game for the Rangers.

Let's go Rangers!
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