One can argue that this season’s New York Rangers are the most Jekyll and Hyde team in franchise history. You never know which team will show up on a night-to-night basis. Either the team that is capable of dominating the elite teams in the NHL shows up one night or the one that plays down to the level of the worst teams in the league shows up the next.
This is a question that can be most appropriately posed for Friday night’s game against the Dallas Stars.
Wednesday night, the Rangers defeated the best team in the league, the Chicago Blackhawks, in their best and biggest win of the season. It is reasonable to expect a bit of a letdown after such an emotional win, but will that letdown carry over the rest of the game?
That scenario came true last Monday night. Following an emotional win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Rangers played a tentative, mistake-prone game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Sure, they rallied to force overtime, but they ultimately squandered that extra point in the standings after losing in a shootout.
So which Rangers team will show up against Dallas? If the good Rangers show up, they will shut down the Stars’ dynamic duo of Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn and Henrik Lundqvist will play like the best goaltender in the world. If the bad Rangers show up, it will be yet another angst-filled evening at Madison Square Garden.
If the Rangers are serious about breaking their Jekyll and Hyde habits, they will bring their A-game against Dallas the same way they did against Toronto and Chicago.