by Patrick Hoffman on 03/20/13 at 11:53 AM ET
When it comes to the New York Rangers as a franchise, we have seen many consistent themes each and every season.
One of those themes has to do with streaking. Going into Thursday night's game against the Florida Panthers, the Blueshirts have won two straight games in beating the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night and the New Jersey Devils last night.
With the two victories, the Rangers find themselves in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with the same amount of points that the sixth place Carolina Hurricnaes and seventh place Toronto Maple Leafs have (32). What this means for the Blueshirts is that they need to keep moving forward and keep picking up two points whenever possible.
As I mentioned above though, the Blueshirts seem to run into a theme of winning a few and then losing a few. Prior to the Rangers winning two straight this week, they had dropped their last three games and were outscored 9-2 in those three tilts.
In a shortened season such as this one, the Rangers cannot afford to be up and down. Yes, the team currently holds a playoff spot but because of their extremely inconsistent play this season, they could just as easily be in the bottom seven of the Eastern Conference.
In order for the Rangers to continue picking-up two points on a nightly basis, they will need a few things to happen. For starters, netminder Henrik Lundqvist needs to keep up his fine play between the pipes. As has been the case since he came into the league in 2005-06, Lundqvist has been the team's best player this season.
Secondly, the team needs their entire offense to step up. The Rangers simply cannot continue to rely on power forward Rick Nash to score every single game. The team needs Marian Gaborik to wake-up, Brad Richards to start producing, and guys like Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin to continue generating quality scoring chances on a nightly basis.
Lastly, the team needs to continue to play the solid defense thet have been playing so far this week. Rangers' defenseman Michael Del Zotto has played some of his best hockey in the last two games and looks like he is playing with a ton of confidence right now.
With 19 games left, the Rangers need to do everything they can to make sure that they do not take any significant steps back. The time is now to win and win often an for that to happen, the club must continue doing everything they can to move forward.
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: brad+richards, carl+hagelin, carolina+hurricanes, derek+stepan, florida+panthers, henrik+lundqvist, marian+gaborik, michael+del+zotto, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, rick+nash, ryan+callahan, toronto+maple+leafs
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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.