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Rangers Road Trips/Home Ice Advantage?

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Old
11-17-2006, 09:05 AM
  #1
HockeyBasedNYC
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Rangers Road Trips/Home Ice Advantage?

As we all know the Rangers have one hell of a schedule in the form of grouped games on the road, especially in this first 3rd of the season.

I was reading Steve Zipay's blog (http://weblogs.newsday.com/sports/hockey/rangers/blog/) and he reminded me that things actually get better as the season progresses. Better as far as travel is concerned.

Quite honestly, and it's no surprise here, the Rangers have one of the toughest schedules in the NHL.
But right now they've turned the schedule upside-down with a 7-4-0 record on the road and obviously playing better hockey elsewhere than in MSG.

THE ROADTRIPS

Oct 28th - Nov 2nd: West Coast - 4 games in 6 nights - Result: 3-1-0 (Loss in L.A.)

Nov 8th - Nov 11th: South - 3 games in 4 nights - Result 2-1-0 (Loss in Wash)
-also, 6 out of 7 on road in that stretch - currently 3-2-0

Dec 12th - Dec 16th: Penn to Texas to Toronto - 3 games in 5 nights

Dec 21st - Dec 29th: South to North, with a stop home - 4 games in 9 nights

After those trips theres only one other roadtrip of 3 games or more and thats at the end of March after a loooong grouping of home games.

Quote:
Only 7 of the 42 Rangers games in the second half, starting in January, require flights longer than a shuttle. And have faith that the Broadway guys will fare better at home.

The Rangers have 19 of the 42 games against Atlantic Division foes, so no matter the hole they dig or the lead they have, playoff berths will be decided then. And who knows, with injuries, waivers or trades, Dawes, Immonen and/or Dubinsky may be up here.
As i pointed out elsewhere - the Rangers have a stretch of 13 out of 17 games at Home - Feb. 17th to March 21st.
Lucky or Unlucky 13?

OK now my point.

From a Rangers perspective, staying near or above that .500 mark like they are now, and being within striking distance of first place - it is a great start to the season if they can continue the road success.

BUT... if Renney continues to overplay the big guns all this work could go for naught. The second half of the season, as pointed out, will be a breath of fresh air for the team and it is my belief Renney is trying to exploit that by pushing his stars now so they build up a good enough foundation for the second half. But you have to be careful doing that.

With all the Home games toward the end of the year, it will really put pressure on the club to come through. Of course if they get on a home-roll like last season, everything will work out to plan. But either way, the fans will play a huge role in the season.

If the Rangers come out flat in the first few games of that 13 out 17 slate, things could get pretty nasty or downright horrible. We've seen it before, the Rangers get into a funk at home, with the powerplay not working and guys passing instead of shooting and everything could go downhill quickly no matter what foundation has been built.

I know im looking into a crystal ball here, but this is why it is so important to have Jagr and Shanahan around to play, as proven by the last home game... 3-2 Rangers - Goals by Jagr (2) and Shanahan (GW 1).

Just another season, right?


Last edited by HockeyBasedNYC: 11-17-2006 at 09:22 AM.
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11-17-2006, 09:45 AM
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Finest
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They definitly need to be carefull with how they play the big guns, but they also need to get some production from the bottom two lines. Judging by the schedule most of their points will/should come from home wins, so they need to start getting back to how they played last year at home. Having a good road record is all well and fine, but they need to get the majority of points from games at MSG.It seems like their play at home will dictate whether or not they make the playoffs this season. Sundays game at home would be a nice game to get two points and start the ball rolling and then take it to Carolina some tuesday. I have a feeling that the home play will get better as the season progress' and as Lundqvist steadily gets back to his comfort zone that he was in last season.

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11-17-2006, 02:06 PM
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HockeyBasedNYC
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Agreed...

and i kinda knew that this thread wouldnt get much attention because its not as relevant now.

But wait and see when we near the end of January and things seem to lean one way or the other with this team.

Those home games are gonna be so key, especially without an Olympic break to make an excuse out of.

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11-17-2006, 04:25 PM
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Home games should always be key, and while it's nice for NY to have a great road record, they need to establish themselves at the Garden, and make their home a hostile environment. For whatever reason this season, they play at home with very slow starts, poor performances, and they skate like their in sand.

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