If there’s a reason why teams don’t normally win at the clip the Rangers have been winning at, it’s because a) other teams start gearing up for you more than usual; or b) there is a chance that even subconsciously you start to get ahead of yourself.
It’s hard to say which factor was at work last night in Toronto, although it’s fair to say the Rangers in the third period started to stray from what was working, and that the Maple Leafs began to feed off the possibility of knocking them from their perch.
It got so ugly in such a short period of time, I was fully expecting a text or an e-mail this morning saying the team would be reconvening at the rink today as punishment. Instead, Tom Renney, perhaps taking a necessary step back—it’s one bad loss in early Novemeber, after all—decided to give the team a day off. There’s plenty of hockey in front of them this week, including an Election Day showdown against the Islanders.
Of course, hockey isn’t a complete democracy, so my vote that Petr Prucha get another crack in that game and that Paul Mara sees more time on the power play might not count for much.