How far will the Rangers get this season?

These Rangers Compare Favorably To The...New York Islanders
Who are these guys and what have they done with the New York Rangers?

Like many of the Rangers, Michal Rozsival has been a different player lately

Like many of the Rangers, Michal Rozsival has been a different player lately

Who are these guys and what have they done with the New York Rangers?  Without three of their most important players the Rangers have won three straight, and more importantly, they’ve transformed into a hard-working, fun-to-watch, legitimately solid NHL team. 

What has happened?  As Rangers fans know all to well, it’s the less-talented teams in the NHL that are often the toughest to play against.  The New York Islanders haven’t had many household names on their squad over the last few years but they always give the Rangers headaches and are never an easy win for anyone.  The Islanders compensate for their lack of talent with ferocious fore-checking, team play, and outstanding efforts across the board every night.  (Ironically, this year Rangers’ cast-off P.A. Parenteau is on the Islanders’ top line and has a team-leading nine points). 

Perhaps a small dose of the Islanders’ medicine is what the Rangers needed.  The Blueshirts still have star power, but three of the team’s biggest names are out of the lineup and the Rangers have been forced to adapt.  The team realized in its first game without Marian Gaborik that things would be different.  No longer could teammates sit back and wait for Gaborik to create offensive magic.  No, if the Rangers wanted to score at all without their offensive stars, it would take extra effort and other players would have to step up. 

And that’s exactly what’s happened.  A week ago it seemed like the Rangers were destined for an early season collapse.  Now before our very eyes, the Rangers have turned into something to be proud of.  A relentless fore-check, incredible efforts by Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky, much-improved work ethics from a dozen other guys, an offensively revitalized Michal Rozsival, the fearless shot blocking of Dan Girardi, improved play from Brian Boyle, a renewed interest in sticking up for one another, the youthful vigor of Derek Stepan and that guy Henrik in net have combined to turn the Rangers into a winner.

There’s one key difference between the Islanders and Rangers.  The Islanders play hard every year, but lack the talent to stay in the playoff hunt as the season drags on.  The Rangers have proven they can match the Islanders’ nightly effort, but will be adding the star-talent that can make this sustainable.  The question now is whether they’ll keep this up when their stars return.  Here’s to hoping.

Posted by Kevin Baumer | October 25, 2010 at 03:42 pm

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New York Rangers VS Chicago Blackhawks
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

  1 2 3 OT F
Rangers 3 0 0 - 3
Blackhawks 1 1 0 - 2

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