The New York Rangers have had a few issues so far this season, but no issue has been more prevalent than the team's lack of consistency.
Which is why tonight's contest with the Tampa Bay Lightning is so important. The Rangers are coming off a huge win against the New York Islanders, a win in which the team played a complete game and got a huge win because of it. That game, however, came off the heels of a very tough 3-1 loss to the New Jersey Devils just two nights before.
See the issue?
So tonight when the Rangers take on the Lightning they will be looking to make a statement. If the team wants to dig out the small hole they dug themselves into with their slow start then they need to start getting above .500 sooner rather than later. Tonight seems like the perfect night to do it.
There have been whispers that Dan Girardi will return tonight, which would obviously been a huge boost to the defense against a very highly skilled offensive Tampa Bay team. Even if Girardi does come back tonight (which isn't guaranteed) I can't see him getting major minutes right away, so the rest of the defensive corps will have to be on their toes.
There is no doubt that Ryan Callahan will be in the lineup, though, which is good news for the Rangers. The expectation is that the lines will remain the same as in the Rangers' win over the Islanders at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers beat the Lightning 3-2 earlier this year.