Can you say “Trap game?”
If there ever was one, this is it: Rangers on a six-game winning streak at the Maple Leaves on an 0-5-1 start. Rangers on a roll, but coming off a poor effort. Rangers against a team they easily beat earlier in the week.
Plus, the Rangers already showed us how they get when it looks too easy—in the second period of that game against the Maple Leaves at MSG. John Tortorella thought maybe it was coming too easily. And if you follow hockey, you know that happens to every team, no matter how great or how bad. When the goals come easily, players tend to relax. They tend to take shortcuts. They tend to try risky, fancy passes instead of sticking with what got them there.
That’s what the Rangers did in that second period.
Then they buckled down. But their game against L.A. Wednesday wasn’t good, either, though it was another victory.
This game tonight at Air Canada Centre will be a test, for sure. The Leaves will play better. They will probably play with even more snarl. They will be in the goal crease. There will be some fights (Orr-Brashear II?) Plus, those Hockey Night games on Saturdays in Canada are always difficult (some think the officials call it differently).
Anyway, here it is. A trap game. A game the good teams find a way to win.