It may not quite be the ides of March yet, but the New York Rangers have found themselves in the heat of the battle for the final playoff spots in this lockout-shortened season.
While the Rangers have only played 20 games (which seems like a silly time to begin playoff talk), they currently sit 9th in the Conference with eight points separating them from the division-leading Pittsburgh Penguins, but only five points separating them from the conference bottom-dwellers.
With only 28 games remaining, the time for the playoff run starts now.
The week ahead may have tremendous implications toward the Blueshirts playoff hopes.
Tomorrow, they faceoff against the division-rival Philadelphia Flyers.
Thursday, they continue their Atlantic Division foes with a faceoff at Nassau Coliseum against the New York Islanders.
There's no rest for the Blueshirts as they return home Friday to faceoff against the Ottawa Senators. Wrapping up the weekend, the Rangers travel south to Washington to play the Capitals on Sunday.
All four games are winnable, especially with a healthy Rick Nash. However, should the Rangers falter this week, they might find themselves too far back to climb back into the playoff hunt.
Tomorrow, catch the game preview right here on BlueshirtBulletin.com