Since the calendar switched to 2023, the New York Rangers have not lost a game, picking up some important momentum in the process.
Victories over the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes have emphasized how much talent the Blueshirts currently possess and how good they can be when playing at their full potential. But the mark of a good team isn’t just beating other strong teams around the league.
Beating teams that may be beneath them talent-wise is another bridge the Rangers need to cross.
Thursday’s opponent, the Montreal Canadiens, will be coming into a home contest reeling. They have dropped nine of their last 10 and haven’t scored over three goals in a game since Dec. 6 in Seattle against the Kraken. While Montreal’s struggles have been well documented as of late, the Rangers aren’t looking past their opponent.
“Any NHL hockey team is going to beat any NHL hockey team,” Rangers forward Vincent Trochek said. “We’ve got to go in there with the same mentality that we’re playing a good team and we have to play the right way in order to win.”
Trocheck’s statement came after the Rangers pulled out an impressive 5-3 win over the Hurricanes on Tuesday, scoring three unanswered goals in the final period to pull ahead of the Metropolitan division leaders.
In doing so, the Rangers have recorded points in eight of their last 11 contests and have seemingly turned the corner against some of the league’s best teams.
“I think we’re playing good right now,” Kaapo Kakko told AMNY after Tuesday’s win. “So just keep doing those things. I think that’s the key, get some rest and then be ready to go again.”
For New York to continue their success, they’ll need to beat a reeling Canadiens team that is desperate for a victory. With upcoming matchups against the Devils, Wild, and Star, the Blueshirts will still need to keep their high level of play up if they hope to distance themselves from the rest of their division.
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