After a crucial win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night, the New York Rangers now turn their attention to their division rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers, for a game on Saturday in Philadelphia.
After gaining an important two points in a well fought win against Chicago at home on Thursday, the Rangers, who swept the season series against Chicago, now look ahead to the Flyers who sit right below them in the Metropolitan Division standings.
After the Rangers’ win and a Flyers loss to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday, the Rangers have increased their lead in the standings over Philadelphia to three points. So now there is slightly less pressure on the red-hot Rangers, although the game on Saturday is still just as important. The Rangers have a chance to climb even higher in the standings as a win on Saturday will put them tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference with the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Rangers have been playing exceptionally well in their last ten games and are making way toward the top of the Eastern Conference standings. While the Rangers may not be able to catch the Boston Bruins or Pittsburgh Penguins, both double digit point totals ahead of them, there is a good chance that the Rangers could catch the third place Montreal Canadiens who are only four points ahead of the Rangers at this point.
In a couple weeks, we could see the Rangers in third place in the conference and making a serious campaign for a good playoff run. With head coach Alain Vigneault confident in his team and having a great first season at the helm of the Rangers, maybe this year is the year that the Rangers finally make it back to the Stanley Cup Finals.
With Henrik Lundqvist back between the pipes for the Rangers on Saturday after backing up rookie Cam Talbot on Thursday, the Rangers should be ready for rival Philadelphia on Saturday. As the playoffs draw nearer, the Rangers need to just take the season one game at a time and focus on playing the best the team can every night.
While the future might seem exciting, at this point the Rangers cannot lose focus of the present by looking ahead.