If you’ve read this blog, you know how I feel about the state of the Rangers. I can’t stand them any longer. I hate that this is the state of the Rangers. That they’re not playing a game. I hate that they are playing a team that is out of playoff position. I hate that they are playing a team that is in the first round of the playoffs.
I just don’t like how the Rangers are playing right now. They are the Rangers. They are the Rangers. They are the Rangers.
Even though Rangers have won five games this season, they are currently tied for the last place spot in the Western Hockey League in points. I think that was a good thing for them to move up to the higher rank. They were playing a team that is in the top five in the standings and needed to get out of their current position. With the Rangers being in the same position as they were at this time last season, most of the big games seemed to be in close calls.
This is the first year since 2007 that the “Big Six” (Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, St. Louis, Los Angeles and San Jose) has joined the league. I think this is a good thing for the Rangers; they will get some competition with the other teams in the division as the season goes on.
Well, the big story for this week was the Rangers’ 5-game win streak was snapped. The Red Wings had won five straight and had the lead with two games remaining. That they had to go to overtime in the last two games after getting blown out in both of the previous three was a big deal. They’ve been on a tear this season, winning eight of their last ten and the last of their last nine games. The Rangers have won each of their last two playoff series.
This streak was the longest in the NHL. A couple of years ago the Rangers were right there with the Wild, but after the Wild and Panthers both went to overtime in their last two games, the Rangers got bounced in overtime by the Wild (well, sort of). Before the streak the Rangers were 1-10-3.
This team has found a way to find its game-changing plays and they are finding ways to win games. This is the season in which everything is about the grind.
It should be no surprise, then, that the Rangers have found ways to win with their teams strolling into the playoffs with seemingly no chance to win. The Rangers’ coach’s belief in his team’s ability to grind out wins is one of the things that makes their teams so good. Rangers’ coach is John Tortorella, an ex-NHL player who now coaches the Rangers.
In the season of the grind, the Rangers have found ways to win even when the games are slow and even when the Rangers’ opponents seem completely out of their league. It should be no surprise that Tortorella has noticed this. A Rangers coach who has watched his team grind out wins in the NHL and now has come to see the Rangers as the team to beat.
If you are a Rangers fan, you know that Tortorella is a hockey god, and you also know that there is a lot of pressure on coaches in the NHL to win every game. It can be scary at times when you are playing against a team that has won the Stanley Cup recently. I don’t want to minimize the pressure on Tortorella, because some of the best coaches don’t enjoy winning games. However, the pressure is not the same for everyone.