There was a time earlier this season when the New York Rangers were in serious trouble.
On October 25, through just 10 games, the Rangers’ 2-6-2 record left the team searching for answers and whisperings growing louder that head coach Alain Vigneault’s job security was waning.
The Blueshirts simply were not taking advantage of their home ice as eight of those first 10 games came at Madison Square Garden.
As October wound down, New York had the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference with a heinous minus-11 goal differential.
But in the ensuing 14 games, the offense has found its footing while goalie Henrik Lundqvist has turned back to the clock, playing like he did during his 2012 Vezina Trophy campaign.
The Rangers are 11-3 since Oct. 26, including current win streaks that have seen them with eight-straight at home and four-consecutive overall that have helped them get back in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
That goal differential has catapulted to plus-17 during that stretch, fueled by Mika Zibanejad’s 22 points.
A lot of that also has to do with Lundqvist’s play. In his last 12 games, the Swede is 10-2 with a .930 save percentage.
He’s been even better in his last five games, posting a .971 save percentage by stopping 133 of the last 137 shots he’s faced.
“We have to feel good about what we’ve been doing here the past four weeks. Our record is really good, but this league is so competitive that if you start to think that you’re that good – you can forget about yourself, but don’t fool yourself – you have to earn it every night and prepare a certain way and put in the effort all the time to get any points,” Lundqvist said. “We should definitely feel good about how we’re playing and finding ways to win games. That’s going to help us moving forward.”