by Patrick Hoffman on 10/13/09 at 08:34 PM ET
The New York Rangers have jumped out to a 5-1 record through their first six games this season. Last night, they crushed the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 7-2, feasting on poor goaltending from Vesa Toskala and a struggling Leafs team.
As most of you knowledgeable Ranger fans know, the team was 5-0 to start last season before dropping the sixth game of the season. What I want to know is which record do you folks think is more impressive - this season’s or last season’s?
In my eyes, it has clearly been this season. The Rangers are getting contributions from everyone, putting the puck in the net, converting their power play opportunities, playing solid defensively and of course, getting great goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist.
Last season, although the team started out 5-0, I believe that it was due to their excellent defensive play, strong penalty killing and outstanding goaltending from Lundqvist. This year, however, it’s been more of a team effort and that’s exactly the way Rangers’ head coach John Tortorella wants it.
It should also be noted just how good the team has been in the third period this season. After last night’s game, Tortorella said the following to reporters:
“We have had some good third periods and we had another one tonight and I think the conditioning had something to do with it. That is an important part, finishing the game. We felt we were fortunate, Hank made some good saves there in the second. We just wanted to get back on the attack and try to play in their end zone. I don’t know if it is conditioning related but we had another good third period so that is good news.”
This was something that the team struggled with last season so it is nice to see that Tortorella may have found the remedy for that.
So, what do you folks think? Let’s hear your thoughts comparing last year’s great start to this year’s terrific start.
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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.