Next Five Games Will Be Telling for Rangers – 11/18/11
If you’re a Rangers fan it’s been a fun two weeks as the Blueshirts have won seven straight capped off by a hard fought 4-2 win over the rival Islanders on Tuesday.
While Rangers Nation should be enjoying the early season success, you have to wonder if their underwhelming schedule has giving us a false sense of how good this team is.
And you have to look no further than the stats Larry Brooks posted in the New York Post on Thursday: “The 10-3-3 Rangers are 9-1-2 against the league’s bottom 13 clubs. They have yet to face a team in the top seven in the overall standings.”
Wow, not one team in the top seven?!?!?!
Well that’s all going to change during the next two weeks when they play at Montreal, at Florida, at Washington and then come home to face the Flyers and Penguins.
We’re going to find out real fast if this team has enough secondary scoring (I’m looking at you Dubinsky) and can survive with Steve Eminger and Jeff Woywitka as their third defensive pair.
If the Rangers want to stay competitive in these next five games they’re going to have to find a way to improve on their 23rd ranked power play. Against the Islanders they had numerous opportunities to put the Fishsticks away on the power play and weren’t able to take advantage. They’re not going to be able to get away with that against the Flyers.
Having said all that, there are lots for Rangers fans to be excited about. Sean Avery has given the team a much needed spark, Richards is living up to his contract, Marian Gaborik is healthy and Henrik Lundqvist is well, Henrik Lundqvist.
This five game barometer starts Saturday night in Montreal which has been a House of Horrors for the Rangers as they’ve lost six of their last seven at the Bell Centre.
You can’t blame a team for who’s on their schedule, but we’re about to find out if this year’s version of the Blueshirts has what it takes to be an elite team in the NHL.