For a while now I’ve said that the New York Rangers need to fix their defense before the offense even though this Rangers’ team struggles to score goals. I mean what is the point of scoring goals if you can’t keep the puck out of your own net?
Yes, the Rangers have been horrible on this nine-game homestand for lack of goals. But even more of an issue is that they have been giving up 3-4 goals on a regular basis which is just unacceptable. No team will win many games with those numbers; so it was not shocking to hear that going into the Rangers’ meeting with the Minnesota Wild in the eighth contest out of their nine-game homestand last night, New York only had a measly two wins.
The only thing the Rangers can do now is try to salvage this homestand and beating the Wild 4-1 last night was a start. Both scoring and defense clicked for the Blueshirts against the Wild last night, but in my opinion seeing the Rangers tighten up their defense was more important.
With this current roster the Rangers are never going to be an offensive juggernaut — it’s just not going to happen. So the Rangers have to win games by playing to their strengths, and in years past that was defense.
For the first time since this nine-game homestand began, the Rangers did not have any defensive lapses resulting in numerous odd man rushes. Even better yet, I believe the Rangers did not surrender a single one all game.
See what happens when you play tight defensively?
Not only do you prevent the opposition from scoring many goals, but you also cause them to make mistakes leading to offensive opportunities on your end. This is what the Rangers did to the Wild last night, what they have to do tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and what they have to do for the rest of this season.