May 23, 2012; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) makes a save against the New Jersey Devils in game five of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals at Madison Square Garden. Devils won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

From Underdogs To Favorites

Three seasons ago the Rangers missed out on the playoffs by virtue of losing a shootout on the last day of the season. Two seasons ago the Rangers make the playoffs on the last day of the season with a little bit of help from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Last season the Blueshirts manage to roll through the regular season, and make a run to the conference finals.

It’s funny now to say that the Rangers are among the favorites to win the Stanley Cup , whereas two years ago they were a borderline playoff team. They’re definitely a better team now, that’s for sure. That is all a credit to Glen Sather and his staff.

But my question is how will the team respond to now having a target on their backs? Two years ago they weren’t a team people expected to steam roll but now they’re a team that people are gunning for. It’s a different mindset now for the team and I think it’s up to coach Tortorella to not let being favorites get to the team’s head.

One of the keys for the Rangers this upcoming season will be to take the right mental approach, and continue to play hard every single night.

Be sure to follow me on twitter @Matt_J1.

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Tags: Cup Favorites John Tortorella Rangers

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