One of the things that keeps getting talked about for the New York Rangers is their starts. The Rangers have gotten off to some brutal starts this year but have also gotten off to some masterful openings.
The Rangers are 8-1 in games where they score the first goal. The one loss was a 9-2 shellacking that they received at the hands of the San Jose Sharks. No one wants to talk about that game anymore so we will just let it go. But it is clear the Rangers starts make them a better team and they play with great confidence because of that. One of the big things that they have now, which helps their starts is speed.
Carl Hagelin and Chris Kreider are two examples of players that help the Rangers starts due to their speed. Right from the opening face-off they can chip pucks by defenseman and create odd man rushes. Another key factor for good starts is the play of Henrik Lundqvist. When the Rangers don’t run get off to the best starts they have the king in the net to stop pucks. This was relevant against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He kept the Rangers in it and the Rangers scored the first goal and went on to romp the Penguins.
There are a number of reasons the Rangers are playing so well right now. One of them is that they are scoring the first goal in the game. The numbers don’t lie, and the Rangers must continue to stress this.