It seems slightly ridiculous now that we were all up in arms over the Rangers’ two-game losing streak. Heck, there was a time a few years ago when a two-game losing streak could have constituted a good week.
But it only underscores the point that now even 16 games into the season, no one is still quite sure what to make of this team, which has the best record in the Eastern Conference and the second-best record in the NHL.
Are they as dominant as their record suggests? Or are they just a team that got off to a fast start thanks to favorable scheduling and excellent goaltending?
I vote for somewhere in between. Truth is, dominant isn’t the word I’d use to describe these Rangers, especially with a power play that still dwells in the NHL’s bottom tier. But they’ve won. They’ve come up with big performances when they’ve needed to, and the more the sample size grows, the more there’s reason to think it’s a trend that continue beyond just a couple of weeks.
I have little doubt that there will be more skunks like Tuesday night against the Islanders. But I also don’t doubt that they can bounce back as they did against the Lightning.
<li>I will check in later, but I’m tied up a bit today so I might not make it to the Rangers’ skate. A question worth asking: Does Stephen Valiquette get a start tomorrow in D.C., especially with a challenging week ahead?
<li>Nice to see Ryan Callahan cash in last night seeing how his spot on the power play is something I’ve been lobbying for all season. I take no credit. I just thought it was evidence of what he could provide.
<li>And finally, a response to some pointed criticism here for my linking to other reporters’ work:
Let’s be clear that the goal of this blog has been, and will always be, to provide original reporting. Unless I note otherwise, that’s what you’ve been getting here for more than two years now.
I’m a competitive person whether it’s pick-up hockey or journalism, and I don’t particularly relish trumpeting the fact that another reporter has beaten me to a story. But the reality is there are other reporters who work just as hard as I do, who have been doing this a lot longer, and who have been doing it quite well.
So on those occasions when there’s a story out there that is not my own, I see myself as having two options: to pretend like it doesn’t exist. Or to continue to try to provide fans with the latest news, and to give due credit to the people who are responsible for breaking that news. Personally, I’d rather be honest than proud.
Again, that’s not to give myself a pass. The Blog will continue to work hard to be out in front of stories in Rangerland, and I feel we’ve made encouraging strides on that front since first starting out. But this spot is still more about servicing readers than my own ego, so if that means occasionally acknowledging the work of others, that’s OK by me.