by Patrick Hoffman on 12/26/08 at 06:00 PM ET
First off, I hope you all had a happy and safe holiday, especially you New York Ranger fans out there who were looking to shake off Tuesday night’s terrible loss to the Washington Capitals.
Tomorrow night’s game against the New Jersey Devils should be looked at as a fresh start for the Rangers. Again, they’re coming off a terrible collapse against the Caps’ and have displayed rather inconsistent hockey over the past month or so.
So what better way to shake off the cob webs and play the best hockey they can play than by beating their Hudson River rivals?
In order to do so, they cannot go ahead and allow eight goals to the Devs’ just like they did back on December 12 when they lost 8-5 at the Prudential Center. They will need to get back to playing the defense that they played for the first month and a half of the season when they were allowing two goals or less in a lot of the games.
Secondly, it’s time for Scott Gomez and Chris Drury to step up. Rangers’ General Manager Glen Sather signed the two American boys to long-term contracts in hopes that they would lead them deep into the playoffs and give them every chance to win a Stanley Cup. Both Gomez and Drury have 23 points but need to step it up both on the power play and in their own end, where they are a combined - 14.
The team’s netminder, Henrik Lundqvist, also needs to get back to playing like the “King.” Ever since Thanksgiving weekend, his numbers have ballooned to a 2.58 goals against average and a .911 save percentage. Now, these aren’t bad numbers but they’re not Henrik-like statistics.
While the Blueshirts may be fine and dandy in the Eastern Conference with 47 points and sitting in second place, the red hot Philadelphia Flyers are right behind them with 45 and the Devils have 41 points. Not only that, but both those clubs have plenty of games in hand.
In other words, the Rangers need to get back on track and pick up all the wins they can now because come late February and March, they could be fighting to make the playoffs if they keep playing this inconsistent brand of hockey.
For other Ranger news and notes, check out the following blogs:
- Sam Weinman’s Rangers Report
- Steve Zipay’s Blue Notes
- Andrew Gross’s Ranger Rants
- Dubi Silverstein’s Blueshirt Bulletin (You true blue fans should really consider subscribing to Blueshirt Bulletin +...It truly is some of the best Ranger content out there)
- SNY Rangers Blog
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Tags: andrew+gross, blue+notes, blueshirt+bulletin, chris+drury, dubi+silverstein, eastern+conference, glen+sather, henrik+lundqvist, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, ranger+rants, rangers+report, sam+weinman, scott+gomez, sny+rangers+blog, steve+zipay, washington+capitals
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at email@example.com.