Why The New York Rangers Cannot Afford To Slow Down

The New York Rangers are currently in first place, nine points ahead of the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference. As for the division, the Rangers lead the surging Pittsburgh Penguins by nine points as well.

Prior to the Rangers most recent victory over the New Jersey Devils, many fans worried about the Rangers attempting to coast, and playing without the fire in their bellies.

That concern should still be a serious one, as the Rangers enter the month of March, a month in which they play seventeen games.

Even worse, the seventeen games are followed by four against the Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Washington Capitals to finish the season.

As for March, the seventeen games will be played against: (follow me after the jump to find out)

Carolina Hurricanes (2)

Tampa Bay Lightning

Boston Bruins

New Jersey Devils (2)

Ottawa Senators

Chicago Blackhawks

New York Islanders

Pittsburgh Penguins

Colorado Avalanche

Detroit Red Wings

Buffalo Sabres

Toronto Maple Leafs

Minnesota Wild

Winnipeg Jets

Montreal Canadiens

That's a lot of games against a lot of good teams. Eight of the seventeen will be road games, so look forward to cheering the Rangers on.

In order to clinch the one seed in the East, the Rangers need to put their feet on the pedals, not slow down. If they slow down, we could see another end of the season race for playoff positioning.