by Patrick Hoffman on 01/23/13 at 08:00 AM ET
After an 0-2 start to the 48-game season, this is something that the New York Rangers need to do beginning tonight with their tilt against the Boston Bruins at Madison Square Garden.
The Blueshirts are coming off two games in which they did not play well defensively, took some bad penalties and did not get the offense they need from guys other than Brad Richards and Rick Nash. Put these three things together and it spells disaster for the New York Rangers.
Tonight, they take on a 2-0 Bruins hockey club, with one of those wins coming against the Blueshirts this past Saturday night in Boston at the TD Garden. In the team's, the Rangers were badly outplayed and left their netminder, Henrik Lundqvist (31 saves on 34 shots), out to dry.
With the roster that the Rangers have, there is no reason to believe that this will be a long losing streak. The team does have guys that can put the puck in the net, does have one of the best defensive corps in the league and also has one of the best goaltending tandems in the NHL.
With that said, however, there is still some work to be done. For starters, the Rangers need to do a much better job in front of their goaltender. Too often on Saturday and Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins, both Lundqvist and back-up netminder Martin Biron were hung out to dry as the opposition looked for rebounds or got into great position on top of the crease or in the slot.
Secondly, the Rangers need to take advantage of the opportunities that they do get. The team's power play is once again struggling and when they do have a good scoring opportunity, they put the puck where the opposing goaltender can get good control of it.
Lastly, the team needs to play more disciplined. On Sunday night, the Penguins were able to score two power play goals and on Saturday night against the Bruins, the Rangers certainly did everything they could to try and get the Bruins to score on the power play in the first period.
While a two-game losing streak is certainly not the way the team wanted it to start, they can just as easily turn things around by playing the kind of hockey that made them so successful last season. A win against the Bruins tonight would be a great way to get the team back on the right track.
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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.