Rangers Vs. Penguins: Pre-Game Notes

Notes before the Rangers take on the Penguins.

- Quinnipiac lost to Cornell last night in the second round of the ECAC Tournament. Now they need to win tonight to force a game three. So I'm already off to a bad weekend in terms of hockey. Just figured I'd inform you all of that.

- So this is sort of a big game for the New York Rangers, right? The team that went on a hot streak for six games suddenly has sputtered to back-to-back tough losses against teams they probably should have beaten. The result? Massive panic, of course. Not that some concern isn't warranted, however. The Rangers have been off and on all season, and the lack of consistency is alarming.

- Not a great place to waltz into under the current circumstances, either. The Penguins are always tough, but they're also a team that can smell blood when their opponent is struggling.

- Then again, a win would be a major boost for the Rangers, and might help get them out of this little spiral.

- That being said, I still don't think anyone should be panicing. I say this all the time, and I know a lot of you disagree with me, but this shortened season simply has too many variables to make big decisions. Yes, if the Rangers miss the playoffs shortened season or not there need to be changes -- but this year has always been a "just make the playoffs" year in my book.

- Henrik Lundqvist spoke out about how weak the Rangers were in front of the net in both zones. Andrew Gross speculated that will spark change, and I agree. Lundqvist is a big leader on that team, probably the best player, too. When he speaks, people listen.

- I think we should see more of Roman Hamrlik today. Or at least I hope we do, otherwise what was the point of the move?

- Speaking of, the defense better be a whole hell of a lot better than it has been the past two games. The Penguins will eat you alive if you don't clear the front of the net.

- Anyone else think Marian Gaborik breaks out today? I have a gut feeling he has a really, really good game.

- Throw Rick Nash into that boat, too.

- John Tortorella is saying all the right things when it comes to the Rangers and their struggles. The question now, of course, is whether or not the team buys into his words and turns things around. Again, he's not getting fired this year, but he wants to win (as does everyone else).