Rangers Enter Level 7 Intensity but need to get to Level 8

The New York Rangers will need to play with Controlled Aggression in order to beat the Florida Panthers.
New York Rangers v Carolina Hurricanes - Game Six
New York Rangers v Carolina Hurricanes - Game Six / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

The New York Rangers face their Next Toughest Challenge…the Florida Panthers. Welcome to Round #3 and the Battle for the Eastern Conference Championship.

The Rangers beat the Washington Capitals 4-0, in Round #1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

In Round #2, the Blueshirts took out the Canes 4-2.

Now, NYR will enter Round #3 against last year’s Stanley Cup Loser, the Florida Panthers.

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At the Half-Way Point of these NHL Playoffs, the New York Rangers appear to have checked all boxes during 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 Means Not Chasing the Game from the Get-Go…check.

Play with Speed, Urgency, and Intensity…check.

Patient-Puck-Possession Play…check.

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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 a high level of intensity on a consistent basis, throughout the playoffs. Only certain players however, are able to 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. By the time you get to Round #3, you can see who is hiding on the bench.

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.
*Level 7: Round 3 NHL Playoffs. (*NYR…You Are Here)
**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. They are the October, November NYR...awesome to see.

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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.

This is the Sixth Stage of NHL Intensity. You 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 meant the Rangers were WELL-RESTED for the Canes. The Rangers were able to pick up where they left off vs the Caps. They turned up that Intensity-Level-Meter to Level #6 and beat the Canes 4-games to 2.

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*Level 7: Round 2 NHL Playoffs. (*NYR…You Are Here)

This is the Seventh Stage of NHL Intensity. The outside noise continues to increase as the screws tighten and the “microscopic takes and viewpoints” emerge.

NYR: The test in Round #3 will be about Controlled Aggression. Can NYR play with Power, Passion, and Pace, all at top speed, at the same time as putting a shoulder into every Panther in the way.

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

The New York Rangers will need to play with Controlled Aggression in order to tame these Cats. The Panthers like to play with aggression and this style of play is a trap for teams who cannot keep themselves under Control.

Did you hear that? That is the sound of a Panther stalking its prey.

What was that? That is GM Drury, wringing his hands nervously, as he watches his line-up perform in Round #3.

Can you see that? Better tighten those screws on the visor boys. There will be a lot of High-Sticks and Flying Elbows in this Round.

Always remember, Playoff Hockey is a game of Puck-Possession and Patience, Overall Team D, Goal Scoring by Committee, a Grade-A Tender, a High-Level of Intensity, and oh Yeah, Controlled Aggression. 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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