At a glance: Well, well, well ... Thursday’s game between the Rangers and the Jets actually turns out to be quite the interesting match-up. Following an embarrassing 3-1 loss to the struggling Sabres on Tuesday night, the Rangers travel to Winnipeg to face the Jets in a battle for eighth place in the East. With a win over the Blueshirts, the Jets have a chance to wrest that last playoff spot and pass the Rangers in the standings.
Sounding off: In the most recent of many epic rants throughout his coaching career, John Tortorella blasted his squad Tuesday night after falling to the lowly Sabres and said he was “disgusted” with his club. Tortorella ripped his star players for not showing up against a Sabres team “ripe to be beaten.” Should be interesting to see how those players -- Rick Nash, Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik, just to name a few -- respond.
Cormier called up: Former New Jersey Devils prospect Patrice Cormier was called up Wednesday from the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps, although it is unclear if he will make his NHL debut against the Rangers. The 22-year-old Cormier has seven goals and four assists in 32 games for St. John’s this season. His recall followed news that veteran center Jim Slater is out with a broken hand in the Jets’ 5-2 win over Toronto on Tuesday. It is also unclear whether Alex Burmistrov will return to the lineup after sitting out Tuesday’s game as a healthy scratch.
Marian MIA: One of the primary culprits who drew Tortorella’s ire, Gaborik aims for a bounce-back game in the Peg. The three-time 40-goal scorer has pretty impressive career numbers against the Jets (formerly the Atlanta Thrashers) with 10 goals and 22 points in 18 games, but has scored only once in the past 12 games. In fact, Gaborik has only scored in five of the Rangers’ first 25 games this season despite sitting second among the team’s leading scorers with eight goals and nine assists.
Asham on the mend: Arron Asham skated with the Rangers Wednesday and appears to be inching closer to return from a back injury that has sidelined him since February 19. Although it appears a return to action in his home province (Asham hails form Portage La Prairie, Manitoba) is unlikely, Asham may be back in the lineup soon.