Saturday, November 19, 2011

Rangers Record A Product of Subpar Competition?

The New York Rangers will be looking to make it eight straight wins tonight when they take on the Montreal Canadiens.  Winning eight straight is an impressive feat no matter who you play, but is the Rangers recent run and overall record based more on the competition they have faced instead of how good the team itself is.  On ThursdayLarry Brooks at the New York Post pointed out that the Rangers have been pounding the poorest performing teams thus far…
"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."
In some ways this kind of stat is a reality check that they have yet to face the best competition, or at least team’s playing their best thus far this season.  In other ways this is a positive because of how the Rangers tend to struggle to beat the teams they are supposed to, so gaining 20 points in 12 games against inferior teams is good sign for them.  While Montreal is another team that sits inside the bottom 13 clubs thus far, Saturday night games there have consistently been a nightmare for the Rangers. 

Following tonight the Rangers will play four consecutive games against teams currently in the top half of the league standings.  More importantly Florida, Washington, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh are all currently within the Eastern Conference playoffs so points are at a premium.  There is no denying that the Rangers have been impressive in finding ways to get points early in the season.  Now we will find out a little more in depth how good they are doing so against some of the better clubs in the league.