The New York Rangers finally ended their grueling road trip Monday night with a 2-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. The Rangers finish with eight points in seven games, and are 3-2-2 heading into a six-game home-stand starting on Thursday.
I don't think anyone will argue the main reason the Rangers have been able to escape the West with a 3-1 record was because of the combined efforts of the depleted defense and the goaltending.
Although John Tortorella refuses to use the long travel as an excuse (or even talk about it at all) it's quite obviously taken a toll on the team. The Rangers simply look tired from the opening faceoff and that doesn't happen to any team seven games in a row.
The good news is that it's coming to an end.
Join me after the jump for more.
The Rangers will have three days to rest and get back into the swing of things on the East coast. When all is said and done the Rangers will be in New York for just over two weeks, which should be plenty of time to recharge and play John Tortorella hockey.
I understand the past seven games have been frustrating, and I understand that you expect quite a bit more out of this team. I truly believe a ton of the mistakes we saw this road trip were due to fatigue. And, in the end, the Rangers played awful hockey and are still 3-2-2.
If the trend continues throughout this home-stand then there is reason for serious concern. But until the Rangers finally play a stretch of normal hockey, I don't think we can take too much from what we've seen in Europe and on the Western road trip. Granted, there are still concerns, but I want to see how this team does when they're not traveling close to 20-thousand miles in just a few short weeks.
That's not an issue anymore, but playing a complete hockey game should be.