The New York Rangers have been getting off to dreadful starts over their last give games. During those last five games, all at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers have trailed 2-0 in every contest. This has been a real problem for the Rangers, and it has to be rectified.
How you come out flat for five straight home games is absolutely mind-boggling. It says a lot about the state of the players in the locker room right now, but the coach sets the atmosphere for the game. Alain Vigneault is not a typical win one for the gipper guy, but he has to get this team motivated to play. The Rangers are taking on the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday, a team that is absolutely ravaged by injuries on their back end. In order for the Rangers to win this game they have to pound the opposing defensemen early and often.
In order for the Rangers to get a quality starts their star players must play with some urgency. Rick Nash has been invisible over the last three games; sometimes I forget he is even on the ice. Chris Kreider has to continue his physical play and use his speed to exploit opposing defensemen. Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan both have to build on scoring goals in Sunday’s game. Derek Dorsett is going to be called upon to provide a physical presence for the forwards. He is the one who is going to get the crowd into the game by laying large hits or getting into a scrap.
This game against the Penguins on Wednesday is so important for the Rangers. They must have a better first period, and their best players have to find a way to get the crowd into the game.