Friday, March 1, 2013
Nash: 'We have to get streaky'
By Matt Ehalt
After Thursday's 4-1 win over Tampa Bay, Rangers forward Rick Nash acknowledged they needed to go on a run.
"We have to get streaky," Nash said. "I think if we just build momentum off of tonight and carry it into the next one, we were doing a lot of good things so I think we’ll be fine."
Evaluating the schedule for this upcoming month, it's clear that the Rangers will have that chance to string together some wins right away.
Beginning Sunday, when they host last-place Buffalo, the Rangers will play five of their first six games in March against teams with losing records. The one winning team they get in that stretch, Ottawa, will have to come to Madison Square Garden, giving the Rangers the home-ice advantage.
In order, from March 3 to March 12, the Rangers will host Buffalo (8-12-1) and Philadelphia (10-11-1), visit the Islanders (8-11-2), host Ottawa (12-6-3), and finish the six-game stint by going to Washington (7-11-1) and Buffalo. Entering Friday, the combined record of those teams is 45-51-7.
After that stretch, the Rangers begin what could be a season-defining portion of the schedule as six of their final nine games of March will come against teams with winning records. The Rangers will also play six of those games on the road, including a tough three-game stretch to the end the month at Philadelphia, Ottawa and Montreal.
As the Rangers have had a slow start out of the game with a 9-8-2 record, their longest winning streak has been three games. After being predicted to be one of the East's best team, the Rangers haven't played consistently strong hockey over the past two months.
In order to try and compete for a top playoff spot, or even ensure themselves a spot in the final eight the Rangers will have to do a better job of stretching victories together. Starting Sunday, they get their best chance for the foreseeable future.