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New York Rangers-Boston Bruins: A Must-Win?

NEW YORK - MARCH 16:  Chris Drury #23 of the New York Rangers skates off as Tomas Plekanec #14 of the Montreal Canadiens celebrates an empty net goal during their game on March 16, 2010 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images
Tonight's Healthy ScratchesCorrespondent IMarch 21, 2010

Oh, so THIS is the game that is a must-win for the Rangers? How about the previous 71 games? Were those just warm-ups to today's game with the Bruins?

Did the Rangers ever think that maybe if they played with some consistency that the next 11 games wouldn't all be must-wins? Or do they just like the pressure?

I can't stand when people throw out the term "must-win" all of a sudden. In my eyes, every game on the schedule is a must-win. Isn't that why a team plays the game?

To quote another New York great: "You play to win the game!" As eccentric as he was at times, Herm Edwards had it exactly right.

Why else would you even go out and play? Maybe when you're under the age of 12, and you still have that little kid's mentality of just going out there and having fun. Then it's okay to just play the game and be okay with losing.

The Rangers aren't 12 years old anymore. They are grown professionals. Every game is played to be won. Every game on that 82-game schedule is a must-win.

Were the five consecutive losses to Philadelphia, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Carolina, and Phoenix in January not must-win games?

Perhaps if they hadn't tanked and had actually won those five games, they wouldn't need this must-win mentality for the remainder of the season.

You want to know what a must-win game is? A must-win game is a Game Seven. A must-win game is the 1978 AL East playoff game where Bucky "Bleeping" Dent destroyed the dreams of Red Sox fans. Those are must-wins—not today.

If the Rangers want to pencil games as must-wins, then they should go back and put a mark next to the 40 games they've lost already this season.

Those were the must-wins.

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