Amazing the difference a week makes. Going into last Monday’s game against the San Jose the New York Rangers stood at 3-3-3 without having played a single complete game in bunch. Questions about the offense, defense and even energy level of the team were running rampant while panic was festering in the fan base. Fast forward a week and four wins later and the mood in Rangers’ land is flying high to the other extreme.
The Rangers have found consistency not only in their results, but more importantly in their play. The team, other than against San Jose, is still lacking that consistent effort throughout the game, but individuals and lines are playing their style with significantly more regularity. The consistency and production has allowed coach John Tortorella to put away the line mixing, other than for Wolski’s injury, for a week and chemistry is building within the lines. Brad Richards is at home with Dubinsky and Callahan using their physicality to bring more energy to his own game. Gaborik has shown quick chemistry with Anisimov and Stepan as his wingers. The Boyle line is finally getting back to playing their forechecking game and the fourth line has brought energy when they have gotten their chances. Christensen has found some consistency of effort and purpose this week and Andre Deveaux has been excellent in playing his role thus far.
Defensively Girardi and McDonagh continue to be standouts and stalwarts. Michael Sauer’s consistency is a huge benefit to the team and has aided Del Zotto tremendously at even strength. Del Zotto is getting better with each game, adding to his confidence and improving his play in his own end. Eminger and Woywitka have played solid as well and not giving coach John Tortorella any excuse to use newly signed defenseman Anton Stralman.
After a few subpar games for himself, Henrik Lundqvist is back on track and Martin Biron continues to show how valuable an addition he has been since last year.
The mood at 7-3-3 is sky high and with their play in the past week they have earned it. Now the work continues to maintain or improve the level at which they are playing long-term, but for now enjoy it Rangers fans.