NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 26: Josh Bailey #12 of the New York Islanders skates away as Brad Richards #19, Michael Del Zotto #4 and Carl Hagelin #62 of the New York Rangers celebrate a goal by Hagelin in the third period of an NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden on December 26, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
The New York Rangers have a sparkling 22-9-4 record, which is good enough for 48 points and a second place seat in the Eastern Conference. Through the first 33 games of the season, the Rangers have accumulated a +27 in goal differential, scoring 103 goals and only giving up 76.
That's a testament to both the Rangers' offense and defense. It's also a testament to the Rangers' ability to pull together as a team through injuries.
I don't think anyone would have expected the Rangers to be conceding just over two goals a game without Marc Staal for the entire season thus far, and Michael Sauer for a good chunk of the season. Yes, Henrik Lundqvist and Martin Biron have a ton to do with that stat as well, but give Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh and the other defenseman a ton of credit as well.
Also make sure to tip your hat to Marian Gaborik, Derek Stepan and Artem Anisimov, who have become a dynamic top-line which John Tortorella has leaned on for offense thus far this season. Also give credit to guys like Ryan Callahan, Carl Hagelin and Michael Del Zotto for adding some secondary scoring as well.