The Rangers outplayed the Carolina Hurricanes for 59 minutes and 32 seconds, but those 28 seconds where they didn't cost them the game. Chad LaRose and that old Ranger nemesis, Rod Brind'Amour, scored in those 28 seconds to put the Rangers on the brink of failing to make the playoffs. With four games on their schedule the Rangers are two points ahead of Florida, who have five games to play. The Panthers play the Thrashers in Florida tonight and a Florida win will tie them with the Rangers at 89 points apiece. The Rangers get eighth by virtue of one more win than Florida.
The Rangers are 9-6-1 with four games to play, but it doesn't look like it will help them cross the finish line as their power play continues to be pathetic, 1-7, and only 3 for the last 35. Also, the third period seems to be a big bugaboo for them. In addition, the road record is 16-18-5, and when was the last time a team with a losing road record made noise in the playoffs, much less made the playoffs?
The Rangers have to prove their mettle starting with Saturday's game at Boston, then the Canadiens at home and then the final home and home against the Flyers. While the Rangers are only three points behind the fifth place Flyers it's the ninth place Panthers that the Rangers are concerned about. What was that famed Satchel Paige quote? "Don't look back, someone may be gaining on you."
The Blueshirt Banter blog now has the tag line: "Covering the Rangers from Avery to Zherdev." So what about the big guy, Nik Antropov? Is he not covered?
Just kidding, we know Sean Avery is good for business. The beat writers should take Avery out to dinner, he's a draw. Our web traffic here at the Ranger Pundit spikes whenever that little devil on Avery's shoulder strikes. Maybe the writers and NY publishers should really take the little guy out to dinner, or put him on retainer? He's sort of like a Little Bit of Bad Luck for Avery, but really good for the rest of us who follow the Grate One. The Rangers now also need the little guy to the right.
Speaking of Avery, of course, you can now go to the house that Avery built. Actually, it's a bar in Manhattan. Here's the link for the story that came out earlier this week.
Chris Shott / NY Observer:
Cheap Shots! Fashionable Hockey Star Sean Avery Gets Into the Bar Business --
Pesky New York Rangers forward and former Vogue intern Sean Avery is getting into the bar business—and no, the new nightspot will not be called "Sloppy Seconds."Update:
The popular, if somewhat controversial, 28-year-old Broadway Blueshirt is partnering with Beatrice Inn proprietor Matt Abramcyk in opening an intimate bar and restaurant called Warren 77, located at 77 Warren Street in Tribeca...
Aside from our Sean there's this other fellow down in DC who gets a fair amount of attention. No, we're not talking about Barrack.
Dan Steinberg / DC Sports Blog:
When LeBron Met Ovechkin --
I was getting ready to go into the Wizards locker room when I was told Alex Ovechkin would meet LeBron James in the other direction, and so I switched directions too. Because the Wizards will win more games and have more feel-good moments, but it's a pretty rare thing to watch two of the greatest athletes in the world meet for the first time...related:
The entire Cavs team came through, with some, like Zydrunas Ilgauskas, stopping to chat with Ovechkin. The hockey star and LeBron's manager, Maverick Carter, talked about cars (LeBron has 12), and speed limits, and training regimens, and Verizon Center food (Ovechkin had two orders of nachos). Carter praised Ovechkin's hot stick celebration; "I do like NBA," Ovechkin joked...
Rosen / NHL.com:
Ovechkin, Backstrom meet up with LeBron James --
Washington Post blogger Dan Steinberg made the right move Thursday night...
He turned around, headed to the visitor's dressing room, and to his starry eyes witnessed Alex Ovechkin and LeBron James -- two of the sporting world's biggest stars in their prime right now -- shake hands and have a conversation...