Going into Saturday night’s game, the New York Rangers were struggling to find their way to say the least. They carried a very disappointing 2-6 record going into the last of their brutal nine-game road trip to start the season against the best American NHL franchise of all time, the Detroit Red Wings.
In the Rangers past few losses, one thing that was apparent was their lack of effort and sustained pressure. Inspired to finish the road trip on a strong note, the Rangers pretty much dominated play from the opening whistle to final horn.
Because of the injuries that this team has already suffered this year: Rick Nash, Carl Hagelin, Ryan Callahan and Henrik Lundqvist, the only way the Rangers could have beaten the Red Wings is if all of their players gave 110 percent for 60 minutes, and that is exactly what they did.
Scoring goals wasn’t easy, and even when the Red Wings took all the momentum away from the Rangers with both of their goals, the Rangers were able to claw back. They sustained constant pressure, threw pucks to the net and grinded out goals to tie the game twice before winning it in the closing seconds of overtime on a breakaway goal by Derick Brassard, his first of the season.
The first two goals the Rangers scored were not pretty; as a matter of fact, they were ugly, scored by Benoit Pouliot for his first as a Ranger, and Mats Zuccarello. But, those are the type of hard working/grinding goals that the Rangers need in order to win games, not to mention the great goaltending by rookie Cam Talbot filling in for the injured Lundqvist. All of this goes back to effort.
The Rangers definitely impressed last night, but as this team pushes forward with their current roster and injuries, can they consistently show that type of effort game in and game out?
I do not know, but since the Rangers will not have the skill to match up with the majority of teams in the NHL until they become healthy again, they will have to play with that hard work mentality and put forth strong efforts from start to finish in order to get points in future games and weather the storm.
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