Will Another Break In The Action Hurt The New York Rangers?
When the New York Rangers take on the Florida Panthers Wednesday they will have had another three days off between games. That's the same break the Rangers had between their 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders and their 4-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens.
It's generally good for a team to get back on the horse after a demoralizing loss, mainly because it keeps a team from questioning itself in practice and allows them to keep the game simple. The Rangers don't have that luxury.
There will certianly be things worked on in practice these three days off. The power play, creating even strength scoring chances and some defensive positioning work. All things that don't need to be looked over for three consecutive days.
Especially with the way the Rangers were playing walking into Montreal, the long break in the action seemed like the main culprit for the team's slow start.
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Here's the other potential issue. If the Rangers come out slow again and lose to the Panthers, the schedule becomes even more unforgiving. The Rangers will not only play the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers; they'll be playing those three teams in five nights. Including back-to-back games between the Capitals and the Flyers.
So if the Rangers hit a rut against the Panthers, they won't have any time to make adjustments and will be facing three of the better teams in the league in a rapid fire session.
But it's not all bad.
The rest at this point in the season is probably much appreciated and the Rangers should be the freshest team on the ice on Wednesday, especially since the Panthers play tonight. That long rest should keep the team fresh for all three matchups despite them happing over a very short time period.
That alone should help the Rangers keep up their intensity level for all four games, which is something that had directly contributed to the seven-game winning streak in the first place.
A win against the Panthers, of course, would make this much easier though.