New York Rangers, Mats Zuccarello
Photo by Bergen Record

For the New York Rangers tonight’s game may have more meaning for the Blueshirts, aside from the revenge factor.

New York Rangers (18-9-4, 39 points: 3rd place in Metropolitan Division)
Edmonton Oilers (14-15-2, 30 points: 3rd place in Pacific Division)
Today, 7:00 PM on RSNW, MSG
Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

By Patrick Comia

After an unsuccessful road trip to Western Canada, the Blueshirts return to their familiar surroundings of Madison Square Garden.

It was anything but a vacation for the New York Rangers as they went winless in three games versus the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, and Calgary Flames. They only gained one point, out of a possible six, and have started to falter in the Metropolitan Division.

Going into tonight, the Rangers find themselves in third place in the division, looking up at the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders. Both teams have been on a tear in their past 10 games, winning eight times each, while combining for one loss in regulation.

For the Rangers, they have been limping, and it has not been pretty. Injuries to Derek Stepan and Kevin Klein have forced the hand of Alain Vigneault to get creative with his lineup.

And so far, it’s not been positive.

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In their past 10 games the Blueshirts have gone 2-6-2, earning just six points in the process. Not a valiant effort from a team that has high hopes this season.

Tonight on Broadway, they welcome the Oilers to the bright lights of New York City. But, don’t expect the Rangers to be hospitable hosts. Pretty sure they haven’t forgotten what took place at Rexall Place last Friday night.

Done in by former Ranger Lauri Korpikoski’s hat-trick performance and a shaky defensive effort, New York will be looking to correct the wrong that was done to them with some home-cooking of their own.

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This season, the Blueshirts are 12-4-1 at home, which one of the best home records in the NHL. What better way to get back on the winning track then to play in front of your own crowd?

However, if the Rangers play like they have in their past 10, there will be no cheering, no whistle chant. Just a quiet Garden, with the suits on their cell phones talking mergers and not giving two cents of what’s happening on the ice.

Coupled that with boos from the upper-levels, and you have anything but happiness in Rangerstown.

One man who has been at the epicenter of criticism is Dan Girardi. The veteran defenseman has been ruled out of tonight’s game with Edmonton.

Perhaps general manager Jeff Goton’s wheels might be starting to turn, as fourth-liner Jarret Stoll was placed on waivers yesterday. Gorton might be figuring it’s time to make a change before this hiccup of his team’s recent play on the ice gets out of control.

The veteran and two-time Stanley Cup champion was not able to hold a permanent act on Broadway in the team’s eyes and became the first casualty of the Rangers’ attempt at turning things around.

No statistics are needed for this game. The only number that matters tonight is two, as in two points to keep pace with the Division leaders.

A win over the Oilers won’t solve everything, but it’s a start the Rangers desperately need.

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I'm a blogger trying to make it in this world. Have been, and always will be, a fan of the NYR and NYG. Writing for the New Jersey Devils cause, well, someone has to do it!