After losing focus and falling to the Penguins last night, the Rangers (37-21-6) are back on the road to close out their brief road trip against the league-leading Washington Capitals (47-12-4), a team that’s winning at a historic pace.
The Capitals 47 wins have already passed last year’s total with 19 games left on the schedule. Their 47 wins through 63 games are the most for any team in NHL history, and their 98 points through that same span is the most since the Detroit Red Wings in the 1995-96 season, and they have an 18 point lead over the New York Rangers. Needless to say, the Rangers will have their work cut out for them.
Last night, the Rangers had a mental lapse for 1:39, allowing three goals and ultimately losing the game because of that. Against Washington, they’ll need a complete 60 minute effort because the Caps are built to win from the net out. Read the rest of this entry
Win, loss, win, loss, win, loss.
Sound familiar? That’s been the Rangers (24-16-5) life lately as they fail to win consecutive games, something they have failed to do for two months now. The Capitals (34-8-3) picked up two points, giving them 71 on the year and a massive lead in the Metropolitan Division.
Antti Raanta made his first start in exactly a month, and he played well early on. But with the numerous power play chances for the Capitals and some turnovers and bad coverage, things fell apart. Raanta still has not since November 19th. Read the rest of this entry
Coming into this game, the Rangers (22-14-5) knew how big a test this would be. A little over a month ago, the Capitals (31-7-3) were looking up at the Rangers, but now they’ve blown by them. After a blowout 6-2 win over the Dallas Stars, the Rangers lost to the Capitals in overtime in a heartbreaker, 4-3.
Both teams traded chances early in the game and allowed few scoring opportunities by clogging up the neutral zone. The Rangers had the best chance early on as Kevin Klein came from behind the net and slapped a shot up high but was denied by Holtby, who is now an impressive 19-0-2 in his last 21 starts.
The Rangers first power play was a good one. Boyle did a great job screening Holtby but they were unable to convert on their shot attempts. Read the rest of this entry
The Rangers (20-14-4) hit the halfway point of the season today and continue their three game home trip as they take on the Washington Capitals (30-7-3), currently holding a one point lead over the Dallas Stars for the President’s Trophy with one game in hand.
This is the third straight game where the Rangers will play one of the elite teams in this league, having been shut out by the streaking Florida Panthers in Sunrise, Florida, before bouncing back with a dominant 6-2 win over Dallas at MSG.
Now they must take on their division rivals, a team they’ve faced so many times before, a team that’s 11-1-1 in their last 13 games, and a team looking for their 31st win in the first half of the season win. Two consecutive wins over the Stars and Capitals could be a turning point of this season, so the Rangers must be at their best tonight. Read the rest of this entry
Welcome back to Quick Hits, a series where I talk about anything and everything around the NHL. The NHL is approaching the halfway mark of the season, and there are some really interesting storylines. The Panthers are in first place in the Atlantic, the Ducks are one of the worst teams in the league, and the Canadiens can’t win without Carey Price.
If there’s anything you want me to talk about in the next edition of Quick Hits, leave it in the comments section below.
The Florida Panthers are legit
Before the season started, I predicted that the Panthers would make the playoffs as a wild card team. I didn’t foresee the Canadiens falling off without Carey Price, or the Lightning struggling, or Detroit playing around .500 hockey.
So to the surprise of just about everybody, it’s the Florida Panthers that lead the Atlantic Division. Dave Tallon has constructed a team with an excellent blend of youth and veteran leadership, constructed through the draft and some smart offseason acquisitions. Read the rest of this entry