2022 is coming to an end and it has been a year of ups and downs for the Rangers. They ended the first half of the year two games away from reaching the Stanley Cup Final. The next season brought much more exceptions and for the first quarter, they failed t meet them. Now, after winning eight of the last nine and fighting back into playoff position, the Blueshirts look to end 2022 on a positive note.
The Rangers have two games remaining in 2022. A home game against the Washington Capitals and Alex Ovechkin then, they travel to Florida to end the year against the rival Tampa Bay Lightning. These games will not be easy for the Rangers. The Capitals have been on a roll as of late and they have Ovechkin, who has been playing out of his mind trying to climb the ladder to Wayne Gretzky’s goal record.
The Capitals always give the Rangers a problem and this game will be an important Metro Division battle. These two teams are fighting to work up the standings in the toughest division in the NHL. Coming off this break, the Rangers will need to bring their best to beat the Capitals.
When it comes to Tampa, the Rangers and their fans know exactly what they are capable of. They knocked the Rangers out of the playoffs last season and although the Rangers won the first game at the home opener, this will still be a tough battle for them. The Lightning has all kinds of weapons like Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point who are always a threat to score.
They also have Victor Hedman on defense and have one of, if not the best goalie in the league, Andrei Vasilevskiy. If the Rangers can get ahead early in this game, it will give them a better chance of winning the game.
One player to keep an eye on during these two games is Mika Zibanejad. While he is still putting up points, it has gone under the radar that he is not scoring goals like he was early on. He is currently on a seven-game goal-scoring drought. We all know that this could end very quickly and it should be nothing to worry about, but if the team wants to win these important games, they need Zibanejad to start scoring more goals.
Overall, 2022 has been a positive one for the New York Rangers. They have achieved more than anyone thought possible and while this season has been a chaotic one for the team, they have found their game and turned this season around. If they can get four points out of these two games, the team will enter 2023 with a very positive mindset.