Attribute it to the comforts of home or any number of factors, but the New York Rangers are turning things around. The Florida Panthers are … not.
The Rangers won their third game in a row and have carried over generally good work since they beat the Detroit Red Wings to end their dreadful nine-game road trip with a 3-2 OT win on Oct. 26. Since then, they’ve won seven of their last nine games.
The way things are going, Panthers head coach Peter Horachek might need to wait a while for his first win with Florida. The team is now on a nine-game losing streak (0-5-4) with the only solace being one of two choices: a) four charity points or b) better chances at grabbing (another) top prospect.
Brad Richards continued his strong play of late, with two points (one goal and one assist). Neither Tim Thomas nor Henrik Lundqvist were particularly dominant on Sunday.
Going forward, the Rangers face a schedule that remains remarkably imbalanced. Just looking ahead to later this month, they face a five-game road trip. They can’t complain too much, though, as they’ll enjoy an eight-game homestand from Dec. 7-23.
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
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