3 Concerning Trends that Will Derail the New York Rangers 2024 Cup Run

Top 3 NYR issues that must be fixed before April.
Vancouver Canucks v New York Rangers
Vancouver Canucks v New York Rangers / Elsa/GettyImages

The New York Rangers have had a great first half of the season.  They are on top of the Metro World as we speak.  That said, there have been cracks showing up in the NYR Shield that need to be fixed before April 2024, or this will be another missed opportunity to capture the coolest trophy in all of sports.

I have noticed that the New York Rangers are not playing quit the same style of game as they did in the beginning of the season.  In The Beginning, the Blueshirts played a puck-controlled and patient game.  It might be lost because of all their success to date, but I am noticing that they are turning the puck over, more so since December.  They are, “Playing Loose Hockey.”

1. Since Dec 01.2023, the Rangers have played in 18 games.  In 12 of those games, the Blueshirts turned the puck over more times than their opposition. 
2. In the Rangers last 9 games, NYR has turned the puck over more times than their opposition, in 8 of those games.
3. Also, keep in mind, that in the 26 games, in which the New York Rangers have won so far this year, they have turned the puck over more times than their opposition, in 12 of those games.
This is a trend that needs to be addressed…Like Now.

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Speed Kills
I know that the NHL has a very long Regular Season.  I also understand that it is extremely tough to play at your best each and every night.  All that travel and time change affects your mental state as well as your physical ability to play at max levels.  This is why they play the games, because you just never know.

That said, it appears the New York Rangers have a tough time keeping up with some teams.  Carolina, Edmonton, and surprisingly Vancouver, play with speed and the results were a few L’s of late.  Now, you might say the Rangers had an “off night” against those teams, and you might be right. 

However, take note, Speed Kills. And the only way to neutralize that kind of speed, is to hit it head on.  And I mean hit it hard and hit it often.  Finish your check boys, and with authority. The Blueshirts have been outhit in 11 of their 26 Wins to date.  I know it is super taxing to play an aggressive, physical, punishing brand of hockey every night.  However, come April, you will be happy to have this style of play embedded into your muscle memory.
This is a trend that needs to be addressed…Like Now.

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Team Defense
Scoring goals means the crowd goes wild and MSG comes alive.  It is way more fun trying to score goals rather than trying to stop them. However, we all know that Defense Wins Championships and that is what we are talking about this year, right?  The Chip.

1. The Rangers Goals Against Average is 9th overall in the NHL.
2. The Rangers Penalty Kill % is 5th overall in the NHL.

Nobody in the stands gets too excited when a NYR player makes the “right play,” like the little chip n out, or skates hard to defend, or takes a hit to make a pass out of the defensive zone.  However, the MSG crowd goes wild when the Ranger G-Men make that amazing save at the right time.  It is not always how many saves, more so, the timing of saves that can change the momentum of a game.  It’s time for all Men in Blue to buckle up and want to Defend that shield.
This is a trend that needs to be addressed…Like Now.

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New York Rangers Record as of January 09.2024
26-11-2= 54
1st - in the Metropolitan Division
2nd - in Eastern Conference
3rd – Tied - Overall in NHL

My View from the Cheap Seats 
Section: TV     Row: PVR     Seat: The Couch
Like any sport, if you win the battle of the turnovers, you likely win the game.  I have recently come to notice that the New York Rangers are a turnover machine this year and have gotten away with it.  I suppose when you have the #1 Power Play in the league and two really good goaltenders, it masks some of the overall team issues that really exist. 

It is now time to Tighten Up that game plan, Hit with a Purpose and Defend like ya want that Cup.  We have all lived through this dream already during the Lundqvist era.  In a perfect world, we won’t have to live with this reality during the Shesterkin era.

Quote of the Day:
“If the world was perfect, it wouldn’t be.”
Yogi Berra  – New York Yankees