In the game of hockey you never want to get down early. Unfortunately for the Rangers, they're making a habit out of it this season as they've now given up the first goal in 20 of their 31 games.
And once they're down, they haven't shown a great deal of resiliency as they were only able to comeback and win seven of those 20 games.
Some of the players addressed the poor starts after the game last night:
"Maybe we talk too much about it. We focus on 'Let's get a good start.' When that doesn't happen maybe we over think it. Maybe we should talk less about it and just go out and play. And hopefully we can get good starts going forward. It is really important. It's so hard to come from behind."
"It seems like the last few games our starts haven't been been the best. We got to figure it out. Get out there and jump on the lead. We've been chasing goals all season. Definitely need to be ready for first few minutes of games."
...the confidence of this team is very fragile right now, so giving up the first goal this often has been a killer. Torts mentioned how the team seemed to freeze after the first goal last night and that's not how a winning team should react. Jumping on teams early in games will go a long way towards helping the mindset of the Rangers.
...and it's obviously not just mental. If you're spending all your time chasing goals, by the time you catch up you've likely spent all your energy, which allows your opponent to take advantage. It's no surprise the Rangers have been struggling in the third period recently.
...last year, the Rangers had no problem opening up games by punching their opponent in the mouth and daring them to punch back. By the same token they were also able to withstand a punch to the gut, knowing they had the gumption to deal with any adversity that came their way (unless they were in Montreal). I've yet to see this team display that mentality once this season.
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