The Philadelphia Flyers visit the Garden today (3:00pm – MSG) to take on the Rangers. New York are desperately in need of points to remain in the race, sitting three points behind the eight placed Bruins, with Boston having a game in hand.
Still, memories of the last meeting between these two teams is likely to be fresh in the minds of many on the team. The Rangers lost that match-up back on January 21st 2-0, but most only remember Dan Carcillo dropping the gloves and throwing some punches the way of Marian Gaborik.
Gaborik initiated the bout by dropping his gloves first, but many considered Carcillo’s act to be crossing the boundary. With Brandon Prust and Jody Shelley now in the line-up, the Rangers should at least be a little tougher to play against, and Shelley noted he’d have no problem stepping up if needed.
Wolf Pack and Checkers Update
Earlier this week the Wolf Pack broke a seven game losing streak, and now have won two games in a row, including a 4-2 win over Lowell last night. It may be too late though. With 13 games remaining the Pack sit in sixth in the Atlantic and are nine points behind the fourth placed Lowell Devils. They potentially could get into the East Division playoffs if they manage to pass both the Sound Tigers (73 points) and Penguins (70 points), which still seems a tough ask.
Donald Brashear seems to be enjoying life down in Hartford getting a regular shift. The 38 year old Brashear became unwanted on the Rangers roster earlier in the season after an indifferent start in the first year of a two year contract.
The Charlotte Checkers have continued their hot streak at home, with their thirteenth straight home win, and are 4-0-1 in their last five games overall. The Checkers currently sit tied for second in the South division and are eleven points behind the conference leading Stingrays with four games in hand and with ten games remaining.
Canadian Junior Update
The QMJHL, OHL and WHL all wrap up their regular seasons this weekend, and the playoffs will be set to start later this week. One Ranger prospect who won’t be moving on is goaltender Scott Stajcer, who had a difficult year with the Owen Sound Attack. The Attack were eliminated almost a week ago from playoff contention.
NCAA Playoff Update
Carl Hagelin and the Michigan Wolverines survived at least one more week in their hopes of keeping their NCAA playoff streak alive. Faced with having to win the CCHA title just to make it to the sixteen team national playoffs, Michigan disposed of Alaska-Fairbanks in two games last weekend, and swept rivals MSU this weekend.
Boston College made light work of UMass to end the hopes the Minutemen had of extending their season. Chris Kreider was held off the score sheet in game two, but picked up a goal in Friday night’s win.