A third of the NHL season is already done. The New York Rangers currently sit in the eighth spot of the Eastern Conference. The Rangers’ inconsistent play is the reason why they have not been able to climb the standings lately. But out of the next 11 games the Rangers play, 10 of them are at Madison Square Garden.
In order for the Rangers to start climbing the standings, this next stretch of games is huge. The Rangers only play one game on the road and that is against the Buffalo Sabres, arguably the worst team in the NHL right now. From now until December 27, the team has very little travel to do.
So the Rangers must take advantage of playing in front of the home crowd. Out of their next 11 games, they should aim to get 16 points out of a possible 22. The team is finally healthy and are starting to score some goals again. Rick Nash is back and playing great. You can argue that Chris Kreider has been the Rangers’ best player since he was recalled last month.
For the Rangers to capitalize on this home stretch, they must improve their starts. They are a completely different team when they score the first goal. When they do not score the first goal, they are 1-12 this season. Now we all know statistics can be misleading, but this one speaks volumes about the Rangers. With their inconsistent goal-scoring ability, scoring first gives the team confidence. There will be times when this is not true, but it always helps to get the first goal regardless if you are playing at home or on the road.
The Rangers’ stretch of games coming up will be huge for this team. We will learn a lot about them in the month of December.
The Rangers are approaching a critical stretch where they play most of there games at MSG and need the crowd support. Cheer your hometown team on by buying Rangers tickets now!