Rangers are playing at a level that looks ready for the postseason

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By journalsofus.com

larry brooks


It was his sixth game in nine days after the trade deadline. It’s a playoff-type schedule, made even more difficult with two sets of back-to-backs within seven days.

And the Rangers responded like they had almost all season, with an impressive 5-2 win over the seemingly desperate Islanders for their fifth win in those six contests on Sunday, which put them within one point of the first-overall Bruins. Delivered inside.

Blueshirts worked the walls. He won the one-on-one. They were tireless down to the hash marks – cycling, moving up and down the lows and ups and downs within the property to create open snow while establishing substantial territorial advantages. Indeed, the Rangers imposed their will on the Islanders, demonstrating a playoff-style approach.

“We’re thinking and we’re playing the way we want to in the playoffs,” Artemi Panarin told The Post after scoring his 94th point on an assist from Alexis Lafreniere. “It’s fine now, because you can’t make changes at the last minute.

“But we also have to focus on the regular season. We have to finish the job and not get ahead of ourselves. We still have work to do.”

The Rangers started the season 18-4-1 and are now 16-3-1. He has received better netminding from both Igor Shesterkin, who faced 27 shots, and Jonathan Quick. And he’s getting direct contributions into the lineup after being filled in with the deadline acquisitions of Alex Weinberg and Jack Roslovic.

They now come down to you 12 deep, even with two of their original top nine – Filip Chytil and Blake Wheeler – down for the count. They come at you with three blue-line tandems, even though Jacob Trouba has been sidelined for each of these past six games and Ryan Lindgren went down with a left foot injury late in the second period, which Wasn’t feeling good at all.

The New York Rangers’ Alexis Lafreniere celebrates with Artemi Panarin on Sunday. Robert Sabo for the NY Post

When Vincent Trocheck was asked what he liked most about his team, he told The Post, “Our depth… We have so much depth on every line that it’s hard to play against.” “It’s very important going into the playoffs, and even on the defense side now, we had the Trobs lose, Lindy lose and we didn’t lose a single.”

Adam Fox is living up to his Norris credentials and has been doing so for weeks. Andre Miller and Braden Schneider have both improved since being added to the duo following the captain’s absence. Zach Jones has continued to improve. Still, losing two of the top four presents a challenge.

Trouba will be out for the next two weeks with a lower body issue. Lindgren was unable to put weight on his left foot when helped off the ice after Shesterkin came up with Jean-Gabriel Pageau in the back of the net. It didn’t look good, although it didn’t look as terrible as the time Wheeler had gone down in the same area about a month earlier.

Chad Ruhwedel, at right tackle for the last six games after being acquired from Pittsburgh at the deadline, would step in for Lindgren if No. 55 is sidelined. AHL Hartford’s Connor Mackey, a physically inclined lefty who had an impressive performance filling in for an injured Lindgren in Ottawa on Jan. 27, has been sidelined for a month with an upper-body issue and is being considered “week-to-week.” -week” is classified.

Head coach Peter Laviolette, however, will make a personal decision on who takes over for Tuesday night’s match at the Garden against seventh-overall Winnipeg after Matt Rempe serves his four-game suspension for elbowing Jonas Seigenthaler last Monday. Will be eligible for withdrawal later.

Igor Shesterkin #31 of the New York Rangers makes a save during the second period on Sunday. Robert Sabo for the NY Post

By Sunday, it appeared almost automatically that Remp would reclaim his spot on the fourth line with Barclay Goodrow and Jimmy Vesey, with Weinberg joining third-line wingers Will Quill and Kaapo Kakko and Johnny Brodzinski at a healthy pace. Will return, which he achieved for two games. Before suspending Rempe.

But Laviolette outclassed Quayle and Vesey against the Islanders, with the coach saying he wanted to use Quayle-Goodreau-Vesey as a matchup line. Instead the match turned into a showcase for the third line which impressed with Brodzinski’s pace and after owning the battle areas and tight spaces recorded three goals – one for each.

And so it will be interesting if Rempe is immediately reinstated to active duty. If so, it will be equally interesting to see whether Brodzinski – whose deflection broke a 2-2 tie late in the second – or Quill – who beat Ilya Sorokin from the left circle midway through the session – are out. Sits. Well, Quayle hasn’t been a healthy scratch all season.

Of course, it’s about the team, never more so than this time of year when the postseason looms. Still, though, the Rangers can’t get ahead of themselves, with this week’s schedule featuring Winnipeg at MSG on Tuesday, the Bruins at Boston on Thursday and the Panthers at Broadway on Saturday.

Of course, a team is a collection of people. And it’s the quality of the people in the Rangers room that Panarin appreciates as the Blueshirts’ greatest asset.

The Rangers celebrate during their win over the Islanders on Sunday. Robert Sabo for the NY Post

“The [caliber] “What impresses me the most are the guys we have on our team,” said the No. 10. “Hockey is a very honest game and if you have a good group of guys working together, This is the path to success.

“Of course, you have to have good players as well. We have that. Good people and good players. This is what it looks like.”

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