The New York Rangers are now in sole possession of first place in the Metropolitan Division after a hard fought, come from behind win against the Arizona Coyotes.
Without their starting goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers are now 9-1-2. Cam Talbot has stepped into the role of starter and has certainly stood on his head at times to ensure a victory for the Rangers. Despite some of these wins not being easy, the Rangers have still found ways to win and gain valuable points.
Finding ways to win is the key phrase. No matter how much adversity they have faced since Lundqvist sustained a sprained blood vessel, the Rangers have fought hard and made crucial plays at key times to not only get the win, but two points which, this late in the season, are when they are the most important.
From being down in the standings, to finding their way into the wild card, to finally reaching first place in the division, New York has been putting the rest of the league on alert since the month of December, when they had their huge winning streak.
Since December 8, the Rangers have led the league in wins, with twenty seven and lead the league in goal differential with plus forty one.
Talbot has overall played exceptionally well since relieving Lundqvist, but often times has been shaky. He has learned fairly quickly that it is not an easy job being a starting goaltender in the NHL, however Talbot has had help from his team, who have put up an exceptional amount of goals.
With the whole team playing as one unit, the Rangers strike fear into the opponent before the puck is even dropped for the opening face-off. Not only are they in first for their division, but also second in the Eastern Conference, three points behind Montreal. They battle every night and play their heart outs to help out Talbot.
With their scoring depth showing and power play finally scoring again, the Rangers should be heavily favored going into the post season if they can keep rolling. The trade deadline is Monday, and General Manage Glen Sather is looking to add some depth, hopefully at center and maybe even on defense to help strengthen the lineup.
It also does help that Henrik Lundqvist will come back to action in a couple weeks once he is fully recovered. Once he returns and with the Rangers playing the way their are currently, they will be the most lethal team coming out of the East. If they can acquire a couple depth pieces on or before Monday, their streak will, in the end, ensure that they win the Eastern Conference.
They currently sit in fourth place in the entire league, only behind Nashville by seven points. They will be a very hard team to beat once their lineup is completely healthy again. They have quietly moved up the standings and are making a statement to the entire league. Any team who has to play them from here on out should not take them lightly.