This sure is a confusing time in Rangersland. John Tortorella was saying the other day that he’s looking at the positives, and didn’t really get the negatives, about this little streak. And, well, that’s his job. But it also is at least partially reality.
Since that debacle against the Islanders on home-ice, and the meeting called by Sean Avery and Henrik Lundqvist, and the airing-out by Lundqvist, they are 7-1-2, with points in nine of the 10 games, and a total of 16 out of a possible 20 points, which is a huge run in the ultra-tight Leastern Conference playoff race.
If more positives than that were needed, the Rangers have now won two in a row at home after winning one of their previous nine at (sold out) MSG.
And in the last two games, they have gotten goals from the worst-striken drought-dwellers: Christopher Higgins, Ales Kotalik, Sean Avery and Chris Drury. Oh, my.
But we, of course, like to look at reality.
So I give you the 10-game streak, which aims at 11 tonight in Atlanta:
12/17: At Islanders, 5-2 win. Not terribly convincing, great performance by Lundqvist.
12/19: At Philly, 2-1 win. Stolen by Lundqvist.
12/21: At Carolina, 3-1 win. Pretty solid, against bad team.
12/23: Vs. Florida, 4-1 win. As complete a win as they’ve had all year.
12/26: Vs. Islanders, 3-2 OT loss. Not great by any means, but much better than the last Islanders visit.
12/30: Vs. Flyers, 6-0 loss. The worst overall performance of the season, start the panic.
12/31: At Carolina, 2-1 win. Solid again, still not enough offense.
1/2: Vs. Carolina, 2-1 OT loss. Lundqvist is right. They did everything well but score (four posts).
1/4: Vs. Boston, 3-2 win. Aside from late third-period collapse, an excellent effort.
1/6: Vs. Dallas, 5-2 win. Not as good, but still a one-sided win against a struggling opponent and goalie, and certainly not bad.
Again, as always, there are the yeah …. buts when you analyze this run. What happens after it will determine how we look back on this. If they keep on going, it will just look like a nice 7-1-2 run. If they don’t, we can point to all the faults in this run in hindsight. Or we might forget all about it completely.
Forgot to mention this yesterday. WPIX Channel 11 will broadcast two Rangers games on over-the-air television: at St. Louis on Saturday, Jan. 16 at 8 p.m., and at Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m.