by Patrick Hoffman on 02/13/11 at 11:26 PM ET
Obviously, any time you win a game in the National Hockey League, it’s a good thing. A team comes away with two points, its players get the job done and it makes their fans happy.
One can say the same thing after the New York Rangers snapped their six game winless streak by beating the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden by a score of 5-3. However, for the Rangers, winning this afternoon’s game may end up meaning much more.
For starters, it gets the players feeling good about themselves. Sure, they were not feeling terribly before even though they were losing but a win puts the players back in the right frame of mind and gets them believing that they can make a positive impact in the NHL.
Secondly, the players can stop blaming theirselves for the losing streak. This is exactly what Rangers’ forward Vinny Prospal was doing because once he was reinserted back into the lineup, the team started losing games. With a win under his belt, he can now focus on playing his game.
Lastly, it puts the whole team in the right frame of mind for what could be a very difficult week. The team plays three games this week against the Los Angeles Kings (at the Garden on Thursday night), New Jersey Devils (at the Prudential Center on Friday night) and the Philadelphia Flyers (at the Garden on Sunday afternoon).
Sure, the team only has one win in their last seven games but right now, it is all about getting the team on the right track and that is what the Blueshirts were able to do this afternoon.
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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.