In the last six days, we saw the boys in blue take down the Washington Capitals, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins. These are some of the best teams the league has to offer, and the Rangers came out on top each time, compiling 12 total goals against their opponents.
I’d like to personally thank the Rangers for providing me with a very, very good holiday. Also for producing the results needed to make sure my brothers didn’t tear the house down while I was home from school.
In all seriousness, the Rangers showed the NHL and its fans a lot this week. The Rangers have been so impressive in these past three games that Rangers columnist Andrew Gross asked Tortorella if the Rangers could be considered an “elite team.”
While Tortorella didn’t answer, the clear answer is no. But that’s only for now.
For the Rangers to be an elite team, they need to play every team in the NHL like they would against the league’s best.
My older brother and I will usually argue about how the Rangers will do during stretches in their schedule that are particularly rough. He tends to expect the worst and usually predicts the Rangers will go 0-3 or 1-3 (in this past case). I usually say they’ll go 2-3 or 3-3.
I say this because it’s been said before and it will be said again: The New York Rangers play up to the best and play down to the worst.
The Rangers already beat the Vancouver Canucks this season and beating the Pens, Caps and Flyers shows what the Blueshirts are capable of. All of the pieces are there for them to be among the best, but I sometimes wonder if that registers with them.
While taking down competitors like Vancouver, they end up losing games against teams like the Florida Panthers and the Islanders. The Rangers go into those games expecting to win and they turn out lazy, lackluster performances.
The Rangers have to realize that no matter what their skill level is, they need to play the Islanders the same way they would play the Penguins.
The Rangers are a team that consistently needs a fire lit under their butts in order to perform well. Tortorella is great at that, but the Rangers need to always have their ears open when Torts is talking. If they do this, they will be the elite team us Rangers fans have been waiting patiently for.
In other Rangers news, we got insight into the HBO 24/7 special coming in a few short weeks. We all know how much Broadway and Broadstreet hate one another, but really, that preview was something else. It’s amazing to see how much the two teams hate each other. We had Jody Shelley calling Brandon Dubinsky “A little weasel,” and Martin Biron saying everyone hates each other.
In the words of our News Editor John Brandi, “It’s gonna get dirty.”
I’m expecting some really horrible things to be said out on the ice and during the show. The Flyers are a disgusting group of players in general, and they always seem to bring out the worst in other teams as well. The Rangers are no exception, and with players like Chris Pronger and Marian Gaborik out on the ice with one another, all bets are off and anything goes.
Last year’s 24/7 showed two NHL teams who disliked each other because they’re constantly compared to one another. However, this 24/7 features a rivalry that’s been around for decades. There’s a history of hatred and if that 12-minute preview showed us anything, it’s that the Winter Classic is going to be a bloodbath of epic proportions.
I mean, you know it’s going to get ugly when even Glen Sather trash-talks the other team in their own hometown. Never thought I’d say this, but four for you Glen Sather. Four for you, indeed.