New York Rangers Next Three Games Are Statement Time

Uff hopes Girardi gets better (NHLI)

Samuelson giving instructions. (NHLI)

The New York Rangers pushed their chips all in when they decided to keep Keith Yandle and made a move to acquire Eric Staal at the trade deadline. While the Rangers could have traded Yandle for future picks and prospects and not made the move on Staal, they felt this team deserves another shot at Lord Stanley’s Cup. The next three games could prove to be an important step in that process.

The schedule makers were grinning, in a sinister way, when they put the next three games together on the schedule. Welcome to New York Eric Staal, because your first game breather vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets is about to turn evil.

The Rangers take on three top metro division foes, two on the road and back to back, when they face the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday, the Washington Capitals Friday and then come back home to face the New York Islanders on Sunday. I mean to take on Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and John Taveres over a four day span could make any goalie feel like Denis Lemieux of Charlestown Chiefs fame.

The Rangers must use these next three games as a stepping stone to prepare for a long playoff run. While the Corsi boys will tell you the Rangers are reverting back to their early season ways of getting dominated, but finding a way to win. I say they are getting back to playing a responsible defensive game relying on their best player and making their chances count.

I would love the Rangers to dominate shots on goal every night, but when you take on the likes of the St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars, offensive minded teams, your Corsi will take a hit. In the end when your team takes both of those games that is all that matters in the end.

I am not ready to announce this team is ready for the playoffs, just yet. But if they can find a way to win two of the next three and look good doing it, Rangers fans everywhere can take a deep breath and think of what is to come during the long playoff spring. Lose all three and get outplayed, be ready for #twitterblueshirts to explode.