by Patrick Hoffman on 01/26/12 at 11:34 AM ET
This is exactly what the New York Rangers are in heading into the NHL All-Star Break this weekend.
The team currently sits in the top spot in the Atlantic Division while also being in first in the Eastern Conference with 66 points. While there is still a lot of hockey left to be played, there really is not much Rangers’ fans can complain about these days.
With that said, the trick for the Blueshirts when they come back from the All-Star break is to keep up their solid play. Too often has the league seen teams letup and while it creates for some intriguing hockey, this is not the position the Rangers should want to put themselves in.
All season long, team head coach John Tortorella has preached a one day or one game at a time motto. While it is easier said than done, especially considering the amount of success the Blueshirts have had this season, it is something that the team needs to live every single day.
Look how far the team has come this season under Tortorella. The head coach has the team playing within its identity on a nightly basis and an identity that is tough for other NHL clubs to match.
With that said, that will be different come the grueling months of February and March. It is during this time that NHL teams ramp up their games to either hold onto a playoff spot or get into position to make the postseason come April.
This season, it seems like mostly every team has something to play for. The league has been extremely competitive this year and thus far, the Rangers have done a great job in keeping up with it.
It is going to be an exciting race to the finish for the Blueshirts this year, one that has fans dreaming of what could and what might be come June.
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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.