Courtesy of www.msgnetwork.com
I think the Rangers are showing positive signs in winning three of four. They're not beating themselves, which is highly important. And if they got a few breaks in Montreal, this could have easily been a four-game winning streak.
The Rangers' special teams are a little bit better. The power play is clipping along at almost a goal per game in the last few contests. And penalty killing is improving all the time, not allowing power play goals in three straight to teams like Pittsburgh and Toronto.
And then, it's discipline - meaning the Rangers are staying away from taking bad penalties like they did earlier in the season, as well as not being too over-aggressive and taking themselves out of position.
Playing against physical teams like Toronto gets their passion level up, and that's good. But you have to play at that passion level under control, which I like.
It's taking a long time, but the Rangers are slowly starting to understand themselves and what they are. There's been a lot of points in the standings for this hockey club where they have beaten themselves. They have served a victory to the oppostion on a gigantic, gorgeous silver platter a number of times, and that's why they're in the position they're in.
They've played more games than other teams, and get to play 15 of 19 on the road. So it's up to them to approach each game by respecting their own game and playing within themselves, and not think they're better than anyone else. They must know they have to play a game of quality and intelligence to beat the other team, because the other team should be respected - not admired, but respected. And if they go with that attitude, they'll get their share of points.
For JD's thoughts on the Bobby Holik
line, Mike Dunham's
recent play in goal, Boris Mironov's
arrival on Broadway, Petr Nedved's
strong season and the work done by Hartford coaches Ryan McGill
and Nick Fotiu
, click here