Positives Growing for Rangers

1/12/14 in NHL   |   patrickhoffman3530   |   122 respect

Jan 3, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) prepares to shoot the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Penguins won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY SportsThere is no doubt that when it comes to the play of the New York Rangers this season, things have been topsy-turvy.

The Blueshirts have had several losing streaks followed by winning streaks along with stretches of terrific play followed by periods of terrible play. In every sense of the word, the Rangers' season has mimicked that of a roller coaster.

Even with things being so up and down for the team this season, the Rangers find themselves just two points out of second place in the Metropolitan Division (as of this writing). After having a terrible stretch during their record home stand, the team has once again turned things around and find themselves at 7-2-1 in their last 10 games.

That is not the only positive when it comes to the Rangers this season. In fact, there are several positives that the team and its fans should look at as they gear up for another stretch of games on home ice and the chance to make some noise in both their division and the Eastern Conference.

When it comes to positives, the play of Mats Zuccarello has been a big one. As of this writing, the man they call "the hobbit" is tied with Brad Richards for first on the team in scoring with 33 points (11 goals and 22 assists) while also showing a knack to forecheck, get to loose pucks, make smart decisions with the puck and create scoring opportunities.

Speaking of positives on offense, the play of Chris Kreider has also been great for the Blueshirts. After being sent up and down last season and once again early this season, Kreider has found his game and is fourth on the team with 26 points (11 goals and 15 assists) and has shown tremendous speed, an ability to get pucks on net and the ability to play on the team's top line.

The team's back-up goaltender, Cam Talbot, has also been a huge positive for this Rangers' hockey club. Talbot, 26, is 9-3 with a 1.66 goals against average, a .938 save percentage and two shutouts and has shown the Rangers that when he is in net, the team can have as much confidence in him as they do in their starter, Henrik Lundqvist. 

Another positive for this team has been their play on special teams. The team is not only in the top 10 when it comes to penalty killing, but they are also in the top 10 on the power play this season, something the team struggled with mightily last season.

The Rangers might have several things to work on but the above-mentioned positives are things the team can use to not only get themselves not only on solid ground in their own division, but also in the extremely competitive Eastern Conference.
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