Top 5 Reasons for New York Rangers’ Resurgence

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Top 5 Reasons for New York Rangers' Resurgence

NYR resurgence
Trevor Ruszkowski - USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers started their season with nine consecutive games on the road, which resulted in a 3-6 record. Since then, they have reversed that record, going 6-3 and refining nearly every aspect of their game.

Questions persisted about the effort, execution and construction of the team. They were blown out three times during the road trip, 9-2 to the San Jose Sharks, 6-0 to the Anaheim Ducks, and 4-0 to the New Jersey Devils. Not only did they not defend or forge offensive pressure, but they simply did not compete in those games. As they returned home, many wondered if the Rangers were destined for the draft lottery.

Since then, they have answered the critics by putting forth blue-collar efforts night in and night out, win or lose. They dominated a Stanley Cup favorite in the Pittsburgh Penguins, and earned key road victories against the New York Islanders and Columbus Blue Jackets. The team has gotten contributions from all four lines, gotten world-class goaltending from Henrik Lundqvist and Cam Talbot, and have survived injuries to Ryan Callahan and Rick Nash. Their three losses in the last nine games have been by one or two goals.

Currently, the Rangers sit in third place in the Metropolitan Division and eighth in the Eastern Conference. They still have some kinks in their game to work out, but fans can feel confident now that their team will not roll over and die in their quest for the Cup. Here are the top five reasons for the Rangers' resurgence back into playoff contention.

Matt Stillwell is a New York Rangers contributor for rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattNYR12 for all NYR news and notes! Also "like" him on Facebook and connect with him on Google Plus!

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5. Chris Kreider's Maturity

Kreids
Trevor Ruszkowski - USA TODAY Sports

After bouncing back and forth between the minors and the Rangers, Chris Kreider has proved that he belongs. He has already topped his point total from last season and has added a physical presence to his game in addition to his lightning-fast speed.

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4. Brad Richards' Renaissance

Richie
Eric Hartline - USA TODAY Sports

Brad Richards had the worst season of his career last year. This season, under a new head coach, Richards looks reborn, leading the team in points with 15.

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3. Better Forechecking & Pressure

NYR Forechecking/Pressure
Anthony Gruppuso - USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers' commitment to forechecking and hard work in the opposing team's zone has paid dividends, resulting in more scoring opportunities and the ability to wear down opponents.

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2. Better Power Play

PP
Geoff Burke - USA TODAY Sports

The power play has slipped to 18th in the league, but considering how bad it was last season, Ranger fans will sign up for it. Why has improved so much? They shoot the puck more.

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1. Buying Into Alain Vigneault's System

AV
Ed Mulholland - USA TODAY Sports

Alain Vigneault's offensive-minded system took over a month for the Ranger players to grasp. Since their long road trip, the team has committed to puck possession and movement, and especially shooting the puck. This could position them to have more success in the playoffs should they make it.

See if the Rangers can keep up this resurgence for the rest of the season and get your Rangers tickets now.

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