by Patrick Hoffman on 03/29/09 at 01:30 PM ET
The New York Rangers dropped their second straight game yesterday afternoon in a 4-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The loss keeps the Blueshirts in seventh place with 87 points. However, the Montreal Canadiens are in the eighth spot just one point (86 points) behind them and the Florida Panthers are in the ninth spot just two points behind (85 points).
The Rangers showed some character by battling back from a two-goal and one-goal defecit while also killing off nine Penguins’ power plays. However, Sid “the Kid” Crosby’s great effort put the Penguins ahead midway through the third period, giving the Penguins a 12-1-2 record in their last 15 games.
As we’ve said on this blog before, the club’s remaining schedule will not make things any easier for the Blueshirts. Tomorrow night, they take on the Atlantic Division leading New Jersey Devils followed by games against the red hot Carolina Hurricanes, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, and a home-and-home series against the Philadelphia Flyers to close out the regular season.
Points will not be easy to come by in the next six games so the Rangers need to figure out how they can be successful enough to get into the playoffs. How about this for starters:
- Stay out of the box. While the Rangers were able to kill off all of the Penguins’ nine power plays, being in the box that much certainly isn’t going to help.
- Pick up the man in front. In their last two games, the team’s defensive zone coverage has been below average. Against the Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday night, the team focused too much on Ilya Kovalchuk and forgot about the other guys on the ice. Yesterday afternoon, they allowed Crosby to break in alone during a key moment in the game. With the club’s remaining six games against high-powered offenses, this will need to improve.
- Score on the power play. It’s no surprise that this team is 29th in the league on the power play. With that said, they can turn it around by scoring with the man advantage at key moments in the game.
How else do you think the team can improve enough to make the playoffs? Let’s hear your thoughts!
Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
Tags: atlanta+thrashers, boston+bruins, carolina+hurricanes, florida+panthers, ilya+kovalchuk, montreal+canadiens, new+jersey+devils, new+york+rangers, philadelphia+flyers, pittsburgh+penguins, sidney+crosby
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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.