After a horrid start to the season, going 3-6-0 on their nine-game road trip, the New York Rangers have turned things around on a massive scale. They’re generating a plethora of offensive chances, they are getting some scoring help from the guys in the bottom six and Carl Hagelin has been a huge help after his return.
The Rangers are now winners of seven of their last eight games, but they have played some pretty weak teams in the likes of the Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets and the Florida Panthers last night.
They face-off with their local rivals the New Jersey Devils tomorrow night, that should be a fun game to watch but after that the schedule gets a lot tougher for the Rangers.
They have to visit the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday at the Bell Centre, which is basically a house of horrors for New York, considering they haven’t won there since 2009. Then, they come back home to play the Los Angeles Kings and Boston Bruins, that doesn’t even need any explanation, those are two very tough games.
After that, the team will go on a five-game road trip and will battle against the Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators, Tampa Bay Lightning, the Panthers and the Bruins. If you look at it realistically, they should go 3-2 on that road trip. The two losses being to the Lightning and the Bruins. Tampa Bay is one of the hottest teams in the East right now and when you go against Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis, that is no easy task. Then you have the Bruins, one of the deepest teams in the league and they still have plenty of scoring potential and not to mention they have Zdeno Chara on their blue-line.
After that road trip the Rangers will come back home to welcome back John Tortorella and the Vancouver Canucks.
Things are going to get real interesting over the next couple of weeks for New York. They have some hard battles coming up that are going to be a true test to see where this team is at in terms of identity. How they handle that test remains to be seen.