The New York Rangers are in some trouble, not because of their record or injuries, but because of their inconsistent play. But can it change?

  • New York Rangers (40-24-8)
  • Florida Panthers (40-23-9)
  • NHL, Today, 7:00 PM on FS-F, MSG, Full Preview
  • Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

By Chris Wengert

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There’s only so much positive spin you can put on the New York Rangers’ current situation.

Comparisons to previous seasons or even other teams can often help fans to sleep at night.

But while other teams are starting to polish their play for the playoffs, the Rangers seem to be acquiring more dust.

It is interesting to watch how fans react following a poor Rangers performance. Some portray images of doom and gloom, while others take a “it will be ok” stance.


The reality is probably somewhere in between those two extremes, but there is no denying that the players are concerned.

Here’s How The New York Rangers Lineup, Lines, Pairings Should Look Like

Rangers beat writer Steve Zipay gathered some interesting and telling quotes following the Rangers’ loss in San Jose.

It all started with this:

Here was the most damning comment:

You have to wonder what is going on in that locker room. Finger pointing? Yelling? Screaming? Throwing things?

Excuses?

Whatever it may be, the Rangers certainly don’t look like a group with strong chemistry that is ready to tackle a two and a half month war.

Right now this team looks like a group that will collapse at the first sign of adversity, which is why tonight’s tilt is so important.

Rangers’ Keys To Victory

Safe Puck Movement

The Rangers’ defenseman collectively had an awful time moving the puck against the San Jose Sharks.

Success of any kind in the NHL will start with a strong and fluid breakout, which starts with a good, safe pass from a defenseman. It’s all about fundamentals and if the Rangers want to be successful against a strong Florida team, they will need to be smart with the puck.

Strong Backchecking

Yes, the Rangers defenseman need to move the puck better, but the the forwards need to bust their butts to help out in the defensive zone.

We’ve seen weak backchecking from just about every Ranger forward but it needs to improve-yesterday. There have been many occasions in which a Ranger forward could have prevented a goal but didn’t because of laziness.

It’s crunch time, and the lazy play needs to stop, plain and simple.

Rick Nash/Eric Staal

Enough is enough, these two need to start producing on the score sheet.

Assists are fine, but the Rangers need goals from these two upper-tier players. Neither player has looked particularly bad, but they need to be a spark plug when no one else on the roster is producing.

NEXT:New York Rangers’ Tanner Glass Worthy Of McDonald Award

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