Most of us have already given up on our New Year’s resolutions but, the New York Rangers certainly haven’t. Since 2014 has started the Rangers have been playing the best hockey they’ve played in a while. January is an important month in hockey this year with the two-week Olympic Break looming in February. The Metropolitan Division looked closer than ever to begin the month but, the Penguins and the Rangers are starting to pull away from the rest of the pack.
Since we’ve turned the calendar to 2014, the Rangers have played ten games accumulating a record of 7-2-1. You may be thinking that New York is playing a bunch of bottom feeders but, it’s just the opposite. Every team they have played is over .500 as of January 20th. Key victories in the new year would include division leader Pittsburg, defending champion Chicago and a very tough Tampa Bay club. The overall record of their ten opponents in 2014, as of this morning, is 254-169-68.
The Rangers are seeing success on the defensive end. They’ve only allowed 19 goals this month piling up a +13 goal differential. This spike in defense has brought the overall differential for the year back to even. Some are calling the play in the crease by Henrik Lundqvist the return of the King. If the King can go back to his old form the Rangers could be a serious Stanley Cup threat. It’s pretty ostensible that the Rangers can score but, the cliché tells us defense wins championships. Can the King and Cam Talbot stand tall in net and led the Rangers to their first Cup since 1994?
Only time will tell if we’ll see a parade in New York but, for now the goal is to get in the playoffs. The Rangers are looking to end a very impressing January in their last five games. The Rangers will be playing two of theses games outdoors, at Yankee Stadium. The first will be against the New Jersey Devils and the other will be against the New York Islanders. In fact, three of the next five will be against the worst team in the Metropolitan Division. The Islanders will break the teams above the .500 mark streak for the Rangers with their 20-24-7 record.
The New York Rangers have dominated their competition and will look to continue that tomorrow against the Islanders. The Rangers have moved up to 2nd in the Metropolitan Division with their January streak and will look to improve upon their 27-21-3 record before they break for the Olympics in January.
Rangers Next 5 Games
1/21/14- Islanders @ Rangers
1/23/14- Blues @ Rangers
1/26/14- Rangers vs. Devils*
1/29/14- Rangers vs. Islanders*
1/31/14- Islanders @ Rangers
*- at Yankee Stadium