Normalcy returns to Rangers with Olympic break over

Henrik Lundqvist
Henrik Lundqvist took a silver medal in Sochi with Sweden.
Credit: Getty Images

The two-week Olympic hiatus has come to an end and the Stadium Series is but a memory.

Normalcy has returned to Rangers.

“My focus now is just playing well here and helping this team make the playoffs,” Carl Hagelin said after the Rangers optional skate Thursday morning at the Garden prior to last night’s game against the defending Stanley Cup-champion Blackhawks.

Hagelin spent the break in Sochi playing for silver medal-winning Sweden. Fellow Swede Henrik Lundqvist, Americans Derek Stepan, Ryan Callahan and Ryan McDonagh, Norwegian Mats Zuccarello and Canadian gold medal-winner Rick Nash were all in Russia over the break.

The Rangers began the business day solidly in playoff position, second in the Metropolitan Division and sixth the Eastern Conference following a five-week stretch in which they recorded 25 points while compiling a 12-5-1 mark.

But one hot streak, no matter how impressive, does not guarantee a playoff spot — not with 22 games remaining and 13 of the 16 teams in the conference jostling for playoff position.

So, in head coach Alain Vigneault’s mind, it is a positive his team resumes its season against Chicago before Saturday afternoon’s game in Philly against the Flyers and Sunday’s Garden match against the Bruins.

“From our standpoint, games are so important, points are so important,” Vigneault said. “We talked to our players [Wednesday] before practice [and] we had a good meeting [Thursday] morning. I think everybody understands we can’t take a couple days to get back in it. We have to play well and we have to play right now. I’m fairly confident that our guys will be ready.

“Everybody wants to get playing. We’ve had seven days of practice. It’s time to play some hockey [and] good for us, we’ve got three games in four nights right off the bat so that’s going to put us in hockey mode.”

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

NBA

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.