Think I prefer the Dave Edmunds breakneck cover to Bob Seger's original, but either way, the Rangers and yours truly (in coach) are leaving the Mile High City this afternoon on flights to L.A., where I know some interested eyes will be monitoring that Calgary-Philly game tonight.
Back in New York, I had suggested that the Rangers could go 1-1-1 on this trip, and that could happen, but there's so much brewin' in the pot that it's tough to determine the short-term impact it will have on this team.
1. The trade scenarios. Even if the stalled Jokinen-Prust/Kotalik-Higgins exchange doesn't go through in some form tomorrow, whether it's Ales or Sutter holding things up, the cards have been shown. And Matt Gilroy's name has surfaced as a trade chip, although Larry Brooks just wrote that those reports (to be fair, I had tweeted last night that a source told me Calgary had asked about Gilroy) have been disputed.
So it's clear the Rangers (25-24-7) are buyers, and the front office has its oars in the water. There will be chess pieces moved around prior to the Olympics trade freeze and perhaps after. Impossible to ignore. Couple players were asking me after the game last night what I had heard.
2. Confidence level. The Kings (six straight wins) are cookin', but the Rangers will have Henrik Lundqvist back in goal tomorrow at Staples Center after a bout with stomach flu and Marian Gaborik seems to have regained his karma. And his chemistry with Vinny Prospal is re-emerging.
3. On the down side, the power play had better movement, but still needs work. And Gabby has four of the five Rangers goals on the first two legs of this journey.
4. On the positive side, the PK has been outstanding, 13-for-13 in the back-to-backs. And there's no practice today, so the players will get some rest, presumably, in SoCal---although I'm sure some guys will be out on the town tonight.
Swing by for more later....