by Patrick Hoffman on 02/23/13 at 12:28 PM ET
More than a quarter past the season already, this is something that the New York Rangers need to do if they want to get into the postseason.
Tonight, the Blueshirts are in Montreal to take on the Canadiens. These two clubs met on Tuesday night in what was more of a chess match than a hockey game and the Canadiens escaped Madison Square Garden with a 3-1 victory.
There is no doubt that every point matters in this kind of season but the Rangers need to try and find ways to get two rather than one. While the team was able to get one point in their Thursday night 3-2 shootout loss to the Senators, it really did not help then standings wise.
Coming into tonight's tilt, the team is eighth in the East with 18 points, but just one point ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers. The Rangers are also 5-3-2 in their last 10 and while that is not terrible, it is not the play of a Stanley Cup contender.
With all of this in mind, Rangers' head coach John Tortorella must find different ways to get this hockey team going. Sure, they can get solid defense and excellent goaltending on a nightly basis but right now, it is not winning hockey games on a consistent basis.
Without Rick Nash, the Rangers' offense certainly is not as dangerous. Heck, even with Nash, the team's offense has been quiet at best and is currently ranked 21st in the league in that category.
In today's NHL, it is creativity that gets things to work. On offense, the Blueshirts do not appear to have any of that, especially on their power play.
There has to be a way for Tortorella to figure out how to get his team going. Tonight in Montreal, may be it will be the play of recently called-up Christian Thomas, who will be making his NHL debut tonight.
May be it will come from the play of back-up netminder Martin Biron. Biron has been nothing but consistent since joining the Rangers and when he is in between the pipes, he keeps his team in the games just as much as starter Henrik Lundqvist does.
Right now, whatever the team is doing to try and win hockey games on a consistent basis, is simply not working. It is time for something new and something sustainable.
Anyone have any ideas?
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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.