Have Rangers finally turned the corner? Or should fans pump brakes after 2nd straight win?

Is the Rangers latest winning streak for real?
New York Rangers left wing Alexis Lafrenière (13) celebrates with teammates after scoring against the Vegas Golden Knights during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
AP Photos

The New York Rangers could easily be compared to the fictional Cleveland Indians of the movie “Major League II.”

In the film, the fictional team who had achieved a small bit of success one season came into the next one and disappointed fans, coaches, and themselves through the first half of the season. In a hilarious line, manager Lou Brown (played by James Gammon) told his players after winning a baseball game “If we win today, it’s called ‘two in a row’ And if we win again tomorrow, it’s called a ‘winning streak’… It has happened before!”

In the end, the fictional Indians went on a run, won the title, and everyone went home happy. The New York Rangers might be getting on a run themselves.

In an impressive showing Wednesday night, the Rangers beat up the Vegas Golden Knights by a 5-1 margin with four goals coming in the final period. Their second straight win has shown just how good this team can actually be when everyone is playing up to their skillset. 

“I just thought it was a team win tonight. Everybody came ready to play from the fourth line to the last defenseman.” Gerard Gallant said after the game. 

Their second win in a row, this time against a team leading their division in wins and points, has set the stage to ask the question if the Rangers have truly turned the corner. Yet, as in all sports, context does matter. 

New York has started this week off strong with adjustments from Gallant and the coaching staff coming at a desperate time for the franchise. The two wins also have to come with some context as well. For Vegas, they were without two of their more important players. 

Alex Pietrangelo had to leave the team for a family emergency, while Jack Eichel didn’t play for the second straight game due to a lower-body injury. Two of the Golden Knight’s best weapons didn’t play Wednesday night. As good as the Rangers looked at times, that will always be the context needed if they can’t start stacking wins together. 

Vegas was also just the first of a week-long gauntlet of top teams the Rangers still have on their schedule. With games against Colorado, New Jersey, and Toronto all coming up, New York is at a crossroads for its season. 

Another win, this time against the defending champions on Friday might just be the start of a run desperately needed from the organization. 

As Lou Brown once said, “It has happened before.”

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