The reeling New York Rangers aren’t about to get any help from their schedule. Tuesday, it’s a visit from the Western Conference-leading Dallas Stars. Saturday, the top team in the East, the Washington Capitals, comes calling.
And for a Rangers group that went 4-7-2 in December, then got shut out in its first game of 2016, the losses are starting to take a mental toll.
“To be honest, the last month, month and a half, it’s been what we take out of the game instead of we won the game and move on and keep going,” veteran defenseman Dan Girardi told the New York Post. “It’s tough in here to keep answering the same things, what can you take out of the game, what happened.”
Despite the significant red flags that were raised during the Rangers’ 16-3-2 start to the season, not many expected things to turn this badly for the Blueshirts. Whereas before they were winning games in which they were outshot badly, now they’re losing games in which they carry the play.
Saturday in Sunrise, they outshot the Panthers, 40-20, but lost 3-0.
“It’s funny how this game works,” Derek Stepan told reporters. “Sometimes we don’t play as good and come up out of a period up 2-0, and tonight we played a strong first period and we come out of it down 1-0.”
“It’s about better execution, and as a group, we saw it [Saturday] night, the execution was a little bit off and we couldn’t capitalize,” coach Alain Vigneault added.
And on top of everything else — just after they got healthy again — now the Rangers could be without Chris Kreider versus the Stars. He’s doubtful with a cut hand.
Next six games for the Rangers