by Patrick Hoffman on 02/14/13 at 08:00 AM ET
That is officially what the New York Rangers have and what they will look to do tonight against a struggling New York Islanders' hockey club at Madison Square Garden.
After beating the Boston Bruins 4-3 in a shootout at the TD Garden on Tuesday night, the Rangers have now won three straight games and are starting to find ways to gain traction in an extremely competitive Eastern Conference. The Rangers currently find themselves in the eighth spot in the Conference with 14 points, which puts them five behind the leading New Jersey Devils.
At the other end of the spectrum, the club is also just one point of the ninth spot. With such a shortened schedule, each Conference is a lot more competitive than it usually is, which is pretty amazing considering how tight each Conference is every season.
This is why it is important for the New York Rangers to continue building on this winning streak. Every point matters and in the end, the eight teams with the most points in the East make the playoffs and with the roster the Blueshirts have, they should be one of those eight teams that gets to play for the Cup in May and June.
While I did not get to see the game on Tuesday night (I had a hockey game of my own to play in), it was nice to see Rangers' forward Carl Hagelin score again. After struggling out of the gate to start the season, Hagelin now has six points (four goals and two assists) and is starting to play with a lot of confidence.
It also appears that Rangers' starting netminder Henrik Lundqvist has found his groove again. After stopping 37 of 40 shots and doing well in the shootout against the Bruins, Lundqvist now has a 2.48 GAA and a .912 save percentage, which is much improved after the tough start he got off to.
Obviously, there are still things that the Rangers need to work on by right now, the club is on a three-game winning streak and has a chance to extend it to four by beating the Islanders, a team they beat last week by a score of 4-1 at MSG), once again.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.