Any other team fighting for their playoff lives might feel a certain sense of security with seven of their 12 remaining games to be played at home.
Not the Rangers though. Their 15-16-3 record is nothing to write home about. Maybe a little “feng shui” is needed to make Madison Square Garden a more prosperous environment. Randomly donning the white “away” jerseys against the Flyers seemed to inspire good karma.
Perhaps a lucky bamboo tree placed by the glass entry way before the Rangers hit the ice? Or a new focal point to increase good energy… like the opposing team’s net? Or a visualization of success when they think about their ice and the series of events to follow John Amirante’s rendition of the National Anthem?
That sounds a tad too deep. The Rangers just need to consistently display the snap, crackle and pop they threw at the San Jose Sharks to their rival Islanders tomorrow night. The key word being consistently.
Coach John Tortorella has some thinking to do. Does he scratch Sean Avery again or assume Erik Christensen will contribute on offense during regulation? Both have tended to be invisible game changers over the course of the season, but when given more ice time Avery seems to be the one with the most promise to respond. Either way, the Rangers’ squad need to display more urgency in their game and maintain a sustained effort. They can’t assume to trounce Grabner and Co. 7-2 again as the loose Islanders have garnered points in all of their last seven games.
The rivalry with the Isles has fizzled of late and according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, so has the Garden vibe largely due to ticket price hikes.
He’s right. It doesn’t have the same swagger this season, and will likely lose more as the renovations take hold, pricing out more “diehard” fans. Anyone who has watched the games on MSG can’t help but notice the empty maroon chairs that surround the glass in the lower bowl night in and night out. The corporate folk just don’t seem to bleed blue.
One way the Rangers can help create more buzz around their house: Winning, duh.
About the Author
Written by Margaret DeJesus
I'm a recent college graduate looking for a dream job covering hockey. I've been watching the New York Rangers since my grade school days of VHS and Gordon Bombay's "ducks fly together" speech. While studying journalism at Boston University (COM '10), I wrote for the Daily Free Press, the student newspaper. I worked two summers at the Staten Island Advance, my hometown newspaper, writing city news and features. I've also written CD reviews for Music-Reviewer.com. One of my favorite gigs was interning for hockey analyst extraordinaire Stan Fischler covering the Boston Bruins and attending all their home games in the 2009-2010 season. (Yes, including the crushing defeat against the Flyers in the Eastern Conference playoffs.)