Trending in entirely different directions, the surging Calgary Flames get set to play the struggling New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden tonight.
On the back of a 3-2 win in New Jersey last night, the Flames look to win their third straight on the road – and fourth overall. Calgary will look to take advantage of the ominous ongoings in the Big Apple.
Even though they’re are only three points adrift of a wild card spot, negative hysteria has taken hold of the Rangers. The Rangers are 3-7 in their last 10 and have all but thrown in the towel regarding their playoff aspirations.
Rangers in turmoil
"“We will be focussed on adding young, competitive players that combine speed, skill and character. This may mean we lose some familiar faces, guys we all care about and respect.”"
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Summarizing the statement, it appears Sather and Gorton are willing to forsake the present for the future, an uncharacteristic move for the usually win-now Rangers.
Other than the Flames visiting the Rangers tonight, the current austere happenings within the Rangers organization has little bearing on Calgary.
It means one thing for Calgary: they are playing New York at the most opportune time. With many New York veterans’ futures hanging in the balance, Glen Gulutzan’s team can take full advantage of the disarray.
Rangers are there for the taking
The Rangers usually excel when playing in front of a partisan New York fan base, but I have an inkling the Flames, even with slightly weary legs, will put Alain Vigneault‘s vulnerable, distracted team to the sword.
Sean Monahan has scored a goal in four straight games and has 10 game-winning goals on the season. That’s good for a share of third best in franchise history with Jarome Iginla. The Flames look to improve upon their league’s second best road record (15-5-5), while the Rangers are an impressive 17-10-3 at Madison Square Garden.
Don’t let their proficient home record fool you, though. The Rangers are there for the taking, like a wounded animal that needs to be put down.