Road trip coming at the right time for the blueshirts

3/26/14 in NHL   |   patrickhoffman3530   |   122 respect

Mar 24, 2014; New York, NY, USA; the New York Rangers celebrate their overtime victory against the Phoenix Coyotes after a game at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers defeated the Coyotes 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsIt is said both in life and in sports that "there is no place like home".

This saying has not fit with what the New York Rangers have done at Madison Square Garden this season. As of this writing, the Rangers are just 17-16-4 on home ice as they get set to take on their Metropolitan Division rival Philadelphia Flyers.

After tomorrow night's tilt with the Broad Street Bullies, the Rangers will head on the road for their next four games. The games will be out West against the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, and the Colorado Avalanche.

While having several road games at the end of the season might be a cause for concern for most teams, it actually comes at the perfect time for this Rangers hockey club. As of this writing, the Rangers have the league's second best record on the road at 23-13-3.

Dating back to their 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on March 14, the Blueshirts have won four straight away from the Garden with victories against the Jets, Ottawa Senators, Columbus Blue Jackets and New Jersey Devils. 

With the eight big points on the line out West, the team has a big opportunity to solidify a playoff spot in their division and the Eastern Conference. There are several reasons why the Rangers might be able to come away with all eight much needed points.

The first reason is that the Rangers are a much looser hockey club on the road. When playing at MSG, there is no doubt that the Rangers are playing to the MSG crowd and are looking for the perfect play, being too cute with the puck, and sometimes crumbling under pressure.

On the road, the Rangers play a much different kind of hockey game. The team keeps things simple, throws pucks on net without hesitation and when trailing in a game, usually find a way to get back into it and come away with two big points.

The Rangers can also win their upcoming four road games because they play with a lot more confidence away from the Garden. The team has gone into other team's buildings this year's and have found that they can win in different ways whether it's by dominating their opponent or winning a close game.

Last week, the Rangers experienced both a dominating performance and a tight game against two of their opponents. Last Tuesday night against the Senators, the Rangers blew out the Senators by a score of 8-4 and three nights later in Columbus against the Blue Jackets, the team won by a score of 3-1 in what was a playoff kind of hockey game.

Lastly, the Rangers could come away with another four wins on the road because they are one of the hottest teams in the league right now. The Blueshirts are 7-3 in their last 10 games and if they beat the Flyers tomorrow night at MSG, they will go into the road trip on a five-game winning streak.

While there is no doubt that playing on the road and travelling across the country is difficult, the Rangers have found ways to pick-up two points consistently away from MSG and with a big eight points up for grabs, the team will do everything they can to make sure they get most, if not all of them as they look to nail down a playoff spot.
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