Viagra seizures Depending on your point of view, viagra seizures and with all apologies to Charles Dickens, viagra seizures the NHL’s annual All-Star break comes at the best of times or the worst of times for the New York Rangers. Viagra seizures For the first time since 1993-94, viagra seizures the Rangers reach the All-Star break in first place in the Eastern Conference and with the best points-per-game ratio in the NHL. Viagra seizures Conversely, viagra seizures the Blueshirts plethora of skating wounded and injured players can use the time off to heal up for the grueling stretch run.

Viagra seizures That grueling run to the playoffs sees the Rangers playing 35 games in the final 68 days of the regular season – including seven sets of back-to-back games (New Jersey to Buffalo, viagra seizures Philadelphia to NYR, viagra seizures NYI to NYR, viagra seizures Carolina to Tampa Bay, viagra seizures Ottawa to Chicago, viagra seizures NYR to Toronto, viagra seizures and Minnesota to Winnipeg).

Viagra seizures In any other season, viagra seizures the All-Star break would end up being the Rangers Kryptonite as all of their momentum would be lost during the week off. Viagra seizures However, viagra seizures this season should be different from most.

Viagra seizures NBC Sports hockey analyst Pierre McGuire provided some insight into why this season might be different while speaking to Justin Terranova of the NY Post.

Viagra seizures “[The Rangers] learned a lot last year by losing to Washington in the playoffs when they had a chance to maybe have more of an advantage in that series, viagra seizures but they dropped the ball late in games, viagra seizures” McGuire said while analyzing how the Rangers went from a life-and-death struggle for the playoffs last year to a first place showdown this year.

Viagra seizures “I saw it happen to Chicago when they lost to Detroit in the Western Conference Finals and the next year they steamrolled their way to the Stanley Cup. Viagra seizures Teams need to lose in the playoffs as a group and try to understand what went wrong and make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Viagra seizures The seven-day break is just another obstacle that has found its way in the Rangers path. Viagra seizures From the team opening the season in Europe as part of a seven-game road trip to start the season through HBO’s coverage leading up to the Winter Classic, viagra seizures and then finally the Winter Classic itself, viagra seizures the Blueshirts have had quite an eventful first half of the season.

Viagra seizures They have handled without major fanfare or excuse making – which is the way Coach John Tortorella approached the season from the very beginning.
“It is imperative that we handle everything properly, viagra seizures including the travel, viagra seizures the schedule, viagra seizures HBO and anything else that comes our way, viagra seizures” Tortorella explained to Larry Brooks of the NY Post in September. Viagra seizures “We cannot complain about anything . Viagra seizures . Viagra seizures . Viagra seizures and I’m including myself in that, viagra seizures as much as anybody, viagra seizures and maybe more so.
“With all the stuff that’s going to be swirling around us, viagra seizures our mental approach and ability to keep our focus on the right things is going to a huge, viagra seizures huge part of our season; even more than systems and the X’s and O’s.”

Viagra seizures “There’s no doubt that excuses will be out there for anybody who wants to lean on them, viagra seizures” Torts added. Viagra seizures “But there will be no excuses with our team.”
The theme of maintaining the focus inward on the team while keeping an “eye on the prize” is one that Tortorella emphasized following the Rangers 3-0 victory over Winnipeg preceding the All-Star break.

Viagra seizures “The league is going to get better. Viagra seizures The tempo is going to get better. Viagra seizures I think it becomes a quicker game, viagra seizures but there’s also a grind to it, viagra seizures too. Viagra seizures We cannot stop working on all parts of our game. Viagra seizures We spent a lot of time on the details of it. Viagra seizures We cannot stop trying to get better at that stuff because teams will pass you, viagra seizures” Tortorella explained. Viagra seizures

Viagra seizures “You look at the standings and a lot of teams win. Viagra seizures If you don’t stay on top of yourselves and worry about the details of how we play and remain true to our identity, viagra seizures there will be some struggles. Viagra seizures You never know where it goes from there.”

Viagra seizures Rangers captain Ryan Callahan echoed his coach’s mantra following the Jets game.

Viagra seizures “We’ve had a good first half now. Viagra seizures It’s good going into the break knowing you’re sitting in first place. Viagra seizures But at the same time, viagra seizures the hockey only gets harder from here, viagra seizures” Callahan told Josh Thomson of the Journal News. Viagra seizures “Everybody picks it up a notch. Viagra seizures We have to continue to do the same to have more success.”

Viagra seizures The All-Star break gives GMs the opportunity to start laying the groundwork for the eventual trades that will take place in February leading up to the NHL’s trade deadline at 3pm EST on February 27. Viagra seizures There is plenty of time for Ranger fans to contemplate possible trade targets. Viagra seizures Heck, viagra seizures it is very possible that the Blueshirts might wait until the last minute before swinging a deal – and with good reason.

Viagra seizures According to CapGeek.com , viagra seizures as of January 27, viagra seizures 2012, viagra seizures the Rangers have a little more than $3.0 million in cap space. Viagra seizures However, viagra seizures CapGeek points out that if the Rangers were to wait until February 27), viagra seizures then their cap space rises to more than $5.4 million.

Viagra seizures Outside of getting healthy and staying healthy, viagra seizures the Rangers biggest concern has to be reviving their moribund power play which is ranked 26th in the NHL. Viagra seizures Imagine what kind of season the Rangers could be having if they had a Top 10 power play.

Viagra seizures Many people have lamented that the Rangers biggest need is a player to QB the power play. Viagra seizures The only problem with that thought is that the Rangers have had success without the prototypical power play QB. Viagra seizures

Viagra seizures During the first two seasons after the lockout (2005-06 and 2006-07), viagra seizures the Blueshirts had the 8th ranked power play with the “immortal” Michal Rozsival as the key man on the point. Viagra seizures Yes, viagra seizures they had Jaromir Jagr but they also had a system that saw the team use a system that set up Jagr on his off-wing.

Viagra seizures The Edmonton Oilers have the 3rd rated power play (21.3% to the Rangers 14.1%) and they do not feature a Brian Leetch-like player on their roster.

Viagra seizures Rather than worrying about what the Rangers don’t have, viagra seizures the team needs to focus on using the players they do have within a simple system.

Viagra seizures Without being asked a direct question about the team’s power play, viagra seizures Tortorella indirectly answered one of the power play’s biggest problems.

Viagra seizures In the Winnipeg post-game press conference Torts spoke what the Rangers need to focus on in the second half.

Viagra seizures “A big part of what I think we have to get better at are rebound goals. Viagra seizures And before you get rebound goals, viagra seizures you have to shoot the puck on the net, viagra seizures” Tortorella explained. Viagra seizures “We tend to look for the next play where probably the best play is being ready to shoot before it comes to you and to shoot it instead of trying to pass it.”

Viagra seizures Factoring in Tortorella’s comments with some of my pet peeves, viagra seizures I have come up with a three-point plan that should improve the Rangers power play.

Viagra seizures Point 1 – Movement. Far too often the Rangers power play stagnates as they play the puck around the perimeter looking for that perfect shot – which does not happen too much because puck movement has to be accompanied by player movement. Viagra seizures Watch the Rangers power play and you notice that there are a lot of Blueshirts standing around.

Viagra seizures Point 2 – Get in front of the net. Unless the Rangers find a way to manufacture the second coming of Al MacInnis and Bobby Hull, viagra seizures the team needs to create more traffic in front of the net. Viagra seizures By the way, viagra seizures this point goes beyond the man advantage. Viagra seizures The Rangers need to take more advantage of this strategy during five-on-five play as well. Viagra seizures More often than not, viagra seizures pucks/rebounds will be sliding through the top of the crease and no Ranger is in front of the net. Viagra seizures More often than not, viagra seizures you will see a Ranger at the side of the net along the goal line rather than in front of the net. Viagra seizures Watch for this over the space of a couple of games and you will see why I am rapidly getting even balder .

Viagra seizures Point 3 – Shoot the puck (On Net). Points two and three go along with Tortorella’s opinion; however, viagra seizures I take it one step further by emphasizing the “On Net” part. Viagra seizures Some Rangers (Michael Del Zotto is at the top of the list) need to realize that sometimes less is more when they are shooting. Viagra seizures The idea is to put the puck on goal, viagra seizures not through it. Viagra seizures Sometimes the best pass is a shot on goal. Viagra seizures And much like Point 2, viagra seizures this is a strategy the Rangers can employ during even-strength situations as well.

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