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Big Apple Dreamin'

The New York Rangers are dreaming of success in the playoffs this year. But right now they are on the outside looking in while sitting in 11th place in the Conference with 59 points. Their coach, Tom Renney believes that's all about to change though. He believes they are primed for a big run.

"I do feel that way. It's not just yapping, it's the real deal," Rangers head coach Tom Renney said Wednesday. "I've seen the way we've played in the last two weeks. If we were in the playoffs and they were starting tomorrow, I would feel very, very good about playing anybody."

It might be more coincidence than fact but the Rangers seemed to have received a jolt after the acquisition of bad boy winger Sean Avery from Los Angeles on Feb. 5, going 2-0-1 and scoring 17 goals."Coming out of the all-star break I thought we played well," said Renney. "And then the injection of Sean's tenacity in our lineup and his hockey sense and ability to play the game, certainly hasn't hurt us at all".

You can check out the entire article here at Yahoo Sports News. That confidence would seem to indicate bad news for the Canes, especially considering their lingering injuries to Cole and Stillman. But I doubt anyone wearing the red sweater is ready to throw in the towel just yet. This is a huge game for the Hurricanes as well, and with a win they can draw ever so close to the division lead.

One would have to question just how much better Sean Avery made the Rangers. He might have made them tougher, but he sure didn't make them any smarter. In my opinion, Avery working in New York City is a recipe for disaster. This reminds me of when John Rocker was acquired by the Mets, you just knew that sooner or later he would open his mouth or do something to create a firestorm. The Canes better watch their backs tonight because it's not beyond Avery to deliver a cheap shot or two just to stir things up. Can you tell I'm not a huge fan of Sean Avery?

The Canes have a crucial 3 games coming up. If they can win these games, it puts them in a very good position to win the division and gain some home ice advantage in the playoffs. If they lose, it will be a crap shoot whether or not the Canes will even manage to make it to the playoffs and Caniacs will probably be sweating that out to the very end of the season. Cory Stillman is unavailable for this game and Erik Cole is highly unlikely to play. Neither have skated in practice the past week. Ray Whitney is in the middle of a red hot streak having scored 10 points in the past 5 games. Rod Brind'Amour has scored at least a point in each of the past 5 games. Hopefully the boys can get some production out of the other lines tonight because they will need it.

Everything has been quiet lately on the "trade deadline" front. If there is any breaking news, I'll leave an update. The boys thought that the Kings game on Tuesday night was a tough one because the Kings were playing without any pressure and had nothing to lose. Well, tonight's game is the opposite. The Rangers will be very desperate for a win and have plenty to lose if they don't win this one. This should be a very intense game tonight, we'll see how it turns out. Let's Go Canes!

Alice Cooper