Rangers Enter Level 6 Intensity but need to get to Level 8

The New York Rangers ARE Who We Thought They Were
New York Rangers v Washington Capitals - Game Three
New York Rangers v Washington Capitals - Game Three / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

The New York Rangers took out the Washington Capitals 4-games to zippo, in Round #1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.   Now the Blueshirts enter Round #2 against their most recent old foe, the Carolina Hurricanes.  While the pretenders and frauds bow out early in the playoffs, the real Cup Contenders play on.

The New York Rangers seem to have checked all boxes heading into this Cup Run.
Grade A Goaltending …check.
Depth on D…check
Depth up Front…check
Grit and Sandpaper…check.
An Effective Power Play…check.
A Stingy Penalty Kill…check.
Win Face-offs…check.
Play with Speed, Urgency, and Intensity…check.

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Oh my, there is that word INTENSITY.  What does it actually mean and how come it is used in Hockey so often?
Intensity is Defined as: the quality or state of being intense.  Extreme degree of strength, force, energy, or feeling.

Intensity is “the term” that describes Hockey to its core.  In order to lift the Stanley Cup, your team needs to play at, and exert a high level of intensity on a consistent basis throughout the playoffs.  Therefore, if the team needs to play at this high level to attain success, it stands to reason that All-Players must also attain this high level of intensity.

True as this is, only certain players however, can raise their level of play and intensity, while others simply level off.  You can see this over the course of the Regular Season, then again after the All- Star Break, and it is especially noticeable during Round #1 of the NHL Playoffs.

As you know, the NHL is a marathon, not a sprint.  It is built on various levels of intensity, increasing throughout an 82-game schedule and then a 3-month Playoff. 

NHL Levels of Intensity
Level 1: Pre-Season.
Level 2: Regular Season until the Christmas Break.
Level 3: Christmas Break until the All-Star Game.
Level 4: After the All-Star Game until the End of the Season.
Level 5: Round 1 NHL Playoffs.
*Level 6: Round 2 NHL Playoffs. (*NYR…You Are Here)
Level 7: Round 3 NHL Playoffs.
**Level 8: Round 4 NHL Playoffs.
(Note: the intensity increases within Every Game.)
(**Also Note: We Want the New York Rangers to be Here come June 2024.)

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Level 1: Pre-Season.
This is the First Stage of NHL Intensity.  Here you set the tone for how your team will play, develop systems and the establish the “right attitude.” 
NYR: Play Fast. Play Hard. Hit Hard.  Rock-Solid Team D. No Quit NYR.

Level 2: Regular Season until the Christmas Break.
This is the Second Stage of NHL Intensity.  Here you get out of the gate fast. Take some teams by surprise and get as many points as you can.
NYR: Had a great start to the season.  Played with Patience and Controlled the Puck.  Had an awesome Power Play and played better than expected.

Level 3: Christmas Break until the All-Star Game.
This is the Third Stage of NHL Intensity.  This stage is where you ask yourself… if you really are, who you think you are.
NYR: Came out of the x-mas break feeling good about themselves.  Then lost 5 of 6 games to start the New Year off Wrong.  Are they the October, November Rangers or are they the December, early January team going forward. We can see they are the October, November Rangers. Love It.

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Level 4: After the All-Star Game until the End of the Season.
This is the Fourth Stage of NHL Intensity.  With the NHL Trade Deadline set for March 08.2024, it is make or break time in Ranger Land.  Play the Right Way or it’s the Highway.
NYR: Like every other team, injuries will determine if the Rangers are replacing or enhancing the roster up until the Trade Deadline.  NYR upgraded via trades, adding Depth up front as well as on D.  Oh yes and Turnovers, Speed, and Team D, are the grading system from here on.

Level 5: Round 1 NHL Playoffs.
This is the Fifth Stage of NHL Intensity.  This stage really shows how committed you are to your process and gameplan.
NYR: Beat the Caps 4-0 in Round #1, need I say more.  The Blueshirts did not get lulled into a trance.  They did not believe their own hype.  NYR played a sound patient, puck-controlled game at high speed and with the right amount of intensity. They checked all the boxes as mentioned above.

*Level 6: Round 2 NHL Playoffs. (*NYR…You Are Here)
This is the Sixth Stage of NHL Intensity.  You now know, that you have what it takes, to win in the Playoffs.  Can you block out the noise and continue to bring the proper level of intensity to the Next Round?
NYR:  Beating the Caps in 4-games means the Rangers will be WELL-RESTED for the Canes.  This Level shows how consistent you are at turning up that Intensity-Level-Meter.  Sometimes its easier to just get in a grove and keep playing every other night.  Mentally and Physically, the break is good.  It’s a test to see if you and the team can get back to that Level Needed to move onto Round #3.

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New York Rangers Record as of April 18.2024 - End of Regular Season
55-23-4 = 114
1st - in the Metropolitan Division
1st - in Eastern Conference
1st – Overall, in NHL

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My View from the Cheap Seats    
Section: TV     Row: PVR     Seat: The Couch
Can you hear that?  That is the sound of a Hurricane fast approaching.  It’s one thing the beat this team during the Regular Season, it is a huge undertaking to do it in May. 
What was that?  That is the tie knot getting uncomfortably tighter around the neck of GM Drury, as he watches his line-up perform in Round #2.
Did you hear that?  That is the sound of screws tightening on a helmet.  It’s Go Time Boys.

Always remember, Playoff Hockey is a game of Puck-Possession and Patience, Overall Team D, Goal Scoring by Committee, and oh ya, and a High-Level of Intensity.   No Quit in New York.

Quote of the Day:
“I’d be pretty dumb if all of a sudden I started being something I’m not.”
Yogi Berra – New York Yankees   

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