Rangers Notebook: Back to the routine after Stadium Series
The Stadium Series games were an unforgettable experience for the Rangers, and a departure from the unrelenting grind of an 82-game regular season.
The Stadium Series games at Yankee Stadium were an unforgettable experience for the Rangers, and a departure from the unrelenting grind of an 82-game regular season.
But there is comfort in the routine, which the Rangers got back to Tuesday.
"It was a nice break from the monotony of the last two weeks [prior to last week's Stadium Series games] where it was [games] every other day," Dan Carcillo said after the morning skate prior to Tuesday night's game against Colorado.
The game was one of three this week for the Rangers prior to the Olympic break. The Rangers host Edmonton on Thursday and travel to Pittsburgh Friday before the league takes a two-week hiatus for the Sochi Games.
"[Colorado] is a good test," Carcillo said. "We have a couple good tests here in the next three games. We want to finish on a high note and keep this good thing going that we have from the last couple weeks."
After spending the season's first three months in neutral, the Rangers entered last night's match with a 30-23-3 mark for 63 points, due in no small part to 10-4-1 record in January which has seen the Blueshirts rise to second in the Metropolitan Division and sixth in the East.
"Everyone [is] playing within themselves and within their roles," Carcillo said. "When the game plan is set by [head coach Alain Vigneault] and we follow it, we seem to have success."
Vigneault's system is based on strong defense leading to puck possession and generating offensive chances. The Rangers are third in the NHL with 32.5 shots per game on average, and their 906 shots are fourth in the league in total shots according to the website ExtraSkater.com.
"When we do get opportunities in the offensive zone, shoot the puck," Derek Stepan said. "If you have the puck more, you're going to get more shots."
Marc Staal was not at the morning skate Tuesday as his wife Lindsay gave birth to a daughter, Anna Veralyn.
Staal was expected to dress for the game against the Avalanche.
Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.