February - The Real Test (Failed)
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01-28-2011, 04:58 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: New York City
Originally Posted by
Fortunate for the Rangers, they only have 6 games until mid-February. (the 17th) That's 16 off days over the next 22 including today. That should get them rested and healthy.
But it's also not the time for a sloppy and lethargic month. They managed to stay afloat with a good 7-6-1 January, but now that they'll be getting reinforcements back, they'll really need to bear down and get some wins to improve their position in the East.
Only 12 games on the slate for February.
The games are spread out with only one back-to-back.
Compare that to 17 in November and 14 in a shortened January. The Rangers had similar spaced 12 game calendar in December and had a great month going 8-3-1.
But unlike that month, they don't have the Islanders 3 times;
Thats 8 playoff teams folks, and the Canes who are right on the door knocking. Combined record against these teams is 9-11-2. Take away the 3 wins against what was a different Devils team and you have a pretty bad record.
It's time to really step up and make these games count going down the stretch. There will only be 18 games remaining in the season after this short month. If the Rangers have any aspirations of hosting a playoff series, this is the month to make a case.
This team has played incredibly hard, has bought into Torts' culture and system of play... but is it all smoke and mirrors? The Rangers averaged just over 2 goals per game in the month of January, and while they gutted out wins using a stiff defensive posture, they'll need to get that goal average up over 3 like in December if they want to win games against teams like Tampa, Philly and Detroit.
We'll see how it shakes out. Lundqvist will have to be at his best. 7-4-1 would be a realistic goal to shoot for.
We may face a Crosbyless, Malkinless Pitt. That's like ripping the balls off the team. We can win that- especially since we should be welcoming both Callahan and Christensen back that night.
We always have A-game vs A-game for Devils. Push. I'll say we'll deal each other OTLs, so 1-0-1 there.
I'm going to say 7-3-2 for the month.
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