NEW YORK RANGERS: Break Up The Blueshirts!
They went into Anaheim, and ruffled the "mighty" Ducks - then traveled 45 more miles back to the dungeon of their summer time hell; Los Angeles; where they revolted against the Kings with a 4-3 victory.
They've been winning with defense, a good forecheck, speed, an effective power play, and timely goals.
Who are these guys? And what have they done with my team?
Since December 1st, Tex's Rangers have been playing ice melting hockey. They ended November with an 11-8-4 record. Since then, the Blueshirts have gone 12-3-0, which includes a run of 8 straight victories. They ride another 4 game streak heading into Saturday night's game in the San Jose aquarium.
Joe Thornton calling the Rangers the softest team he's ever played several years ago never left my mind. The Sharks wound up getting their fishtails kicked that night, and the Rangers have handled them pretty well since. In fact, Thornton has missed the Sharks last 4 games because his poor little shoulder has a boo-boo.
...still gotta play the game though.
NEW YORK RANGERS
San Jose Sharks
West Santa Clara Street Aquarium
The Other Side of the Puck:
The Rangers, I'm afraid to say, strike me as a one trick pony. I hope I'm wrong, but...
Prior to Saturday's game, Rick Nash led the team with (25 goals and) 138 shots on goal. The next closest were:
- Carl Hagelin - 80 SOG.
- Martin St. Louis- 74 SOG.
- Mats Zuccarello - 74 SOG.
- Chris Kreider - 74 SOG.
Let's look no further than the two Eastern Conference leaders: The Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders.
Tampa Bay Lightning/Leaders SOG:
- Steven Stamkos - 146
- Tyler Johnson - 117
- Nikita Kucherov - 97
- Ryan Callahan - 93
New York Islanders/Leaders SOG:
- Kyle Okposo - 135
- John Tavares - 121
- Brock Nelson - 108
- Ryan Strome - 90
The Rangers are 4th in the conference in scoring, and 2nd to Montreal on defense.
I don't know what all this means, but I rest my case.