Saturday, February 21, 2015

N.Y. Rangers: Don't Look Now, But Here Come the Caps


Adam Graves; 52 goals in 84 games
Rick Nash; 37 goals in 50 games

NEW YORK RANGERS: Still Suffering From Mild Highs, and  Very Telling Lows.

There's a saying that applies to the Rangers 3-1 victory over Buffalo - don't expect a pat on the back for doing what's expected of you.

For the real story, we need dig through the last few days.

Scoring 22 goals in 4 straight victories over TOR, COL, ARZ, and NYI felt liberating, didn't it?   Speaking of the Islanders, sometimes you have to win games by a 6-5 score.  The Blueshirts played with energy and spirit, and came back from being down 5-3; well done.

Despite their record in the season series, the Rangers can obviously play with the Islanders.  But, in this particular case they just needed to show it, because in truth that was their first victory against either the Islanders, Lightning, or Predators - generally regarded as the 3 best teams in the conference this season.

That being said, how did the Blueshirts follow up their impressive victory over the Isles?  They let a point get away against the Canucks - a deflating loss to say the least, considering they blew three different leads.

How did the Islanders respond after being defeated by the Rangers?  They whooped up on the Predators 5-2, and at the time, tied Nashville for the most victories in hockey.

Just saying.....  

But, you can't deny, the Rangers have failed a majority of their big tests this season.   They otherwise have managed to outplay their competition in what continues to prove to be a weak Eastern Conference.

On that note, here comes Washington.  By defeating the Islanders on Saturday afternoon they tied the Rangers for #2 in the division, and for #4 in the conference.  The Rangers have three increasingly interesting games remaining with Washington this season.

Alex Ovechkin is the NHL leader with 38 goals; Rick Nash is second with 37 goals.

Nash's pace of 37 goals in 50 games hearkens back to Adam Graves' 50 goal season of 1993-94.


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