by Patrick Hoffman on 03/01/09 at 01:34 AM ET
Well, how about that - the New York Rangers’ offense does exist as the team exploded for six goals, including four in the first period, in a 6-1 win over the visiting Colorado Avalanche.
This was a long time coming as the Rangers fired over 80 shots in their last two games combined, only to find the back of the net twice. Tonight, however, was a different story.
The Rangers struck early and often as the team had a 2-0 lead just two minutes into the first period, off goals by Ryan Callahan and Nikolai Zherdev. Then later in the period, the club would get goals from Petr Prucha and Scott Gomez to give the team a commanding 4-0 lead going into the second period.
The difference tonight is that they were lucky to be facing a team with below average goaltenders in Peter Budaj and Andrew Raycroft. Another difference - the Rangers cashed in on their chances.
You get a night like tonight when you fire the puck from all angels, crash the net for rebounds, shoot from the point and hit wide open nets, things they had trouble doing in their first two games (shooting from the put, hitting wide open nets) under new head coach John Tortorella.
If the team can play like this in their remaining 20 games, making the playoffs should not be a problem. However, it’s consistency that’s been holding them back this season is something that they need to get over fast.
“It’s a confidence thing,” Tortorella told the team’s web site after the victory. “It’s not effort, and it’s not the execution when it comes to finishing. It’s a confidence thing.”
Hopefully, that confidence will be there for the rest of the season.
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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.