The Rangers conclude a three-game homestand tonight when they faceoff against the St. Louis Blues at Madison Square Garden (7:00 p.m.), in their final meeting with a Western Conference opponent on the 2009-10 regular season schedule. The Blueshirts currently rank fourth in the Atlantic Division standings, and ninth in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 31-30-9 (71 pts.). The Rangers enter tonight’s contest having been defeated by the Montreal Canadiens, 3-1, on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. New York has registered a point in seven of their last 10 contests, posting a record of 5-3-2 (12 pts.) over the span, including a 2-1-2 mark in their last five games at MSG. The Blues enter the contest with a 32-28-9 (73 pts.) record to rank 11th in the Western Conference. St. Louis has been one of the NHL’s best road teams all year, with a record of 20-11-4 away from home. In their last ten, the Blues are 7-3-0. Following tonight’s contest, the Rangers return to action on Sunday, Mar. 21, when they will face-off against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden (12:30 p.m. on NBC), in a matinee matchup between Original Six opponents. As of today Boston (13 games remaining entering tonight’s game vs. Pittsburgh) sits in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standing with 74 points, three points ahead of the Rangers (12 games left entering tonight).
After captain Chris Drury going off on the Rangers’ immaturity, it’s time for someone to step forward on this team and take the blame. I think that should start with the man behind the bench, head coach John Tortorella. Blueshirt Banter, a great Rangers blog, covered this earlier today. Tortorella had promised to hold players accountable for their actions and for their play. We’ve seen none of that so far during his tenure. During his time with Tampa Bay, we saw Tortorella coach with fire an passion; I haven’t been able to see that yet here in New York. Instead, he directs his fury toward the media on a near-nightly basis.
Fingers have been pointed toward just about everybody on this team at one time or another this season. No one, however, has held themselves accountable for their actions. The Rangers followed a big win versus Philadelphia with a largely lackluster effort against Montreal, a game that was supposed to show a desperate Rangers team. If that game was desperation, this one is do-or-die.
Henrik Lundqvist turns in yet another great performance in net, but this time the Rangers give him some support. 3-2 win for the Blueshirts.
Shot Calling - Marian Gaborik, who has struggled since playing in the Olympics, gets a goal in the second period.
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