Originally written on Bleeding All Blue  |  Last updated 11/15/11
The New York Rangers look to extend their winning streak to seven tonight as they head to Long Island tonight to take on the rival Islanders.  On paper it seems like an easy task as the Rangers are now 9-3-3 while the Islanders are 1-6-3 following their 3-1 start.  As Rangers fans know all too well, games in this rivalry don’t turn out how paper would suggest they should as the Islanders always give something extra against the Rangers.  The Rangers should know better than to take the Islanders lightly as John Tavares netted a hat-trick against them in a 4-2 loss a month ago.  That is why the biggest challenge to extending the winning streak is focus.
A team that is rolling brings tremendous confidence to the ice each game, but there is also something to be said for a team that is struggling horrifically and desperately needs a win.  The Rangers have to come out tonight with the mentality that they have lost six straight and play with that desperation of needing those two points or they will get none.  The combination of playing a very beatable team and having just had three days off can make both the energy level and sharpness of the team more difficult.  That is where the focus really comes in. 
The Rangers cannot afford to lose composure if the Islanders look to unnerve them with nonsense.  They also have to remain disciplined within the play and keep their penalty numbers down.  Staying out of the box has been an understated reason for the current winning streak.  That means no cheap stuff after whistles and moving your feet all night to avoid needless stick penalties.  
If the Rangers stay out of the penalty box and play their game down low against the Islanders, then the winning streak will be extended.  If they get into the Islanders style of up and down hockey and get caught up in the non-hockey stuff, then they will taste defeat for the first time this month.   This is one of those tests to see if a team has really turned the corner on their old ways as this is a prime example of a game where the Rangers would play down to the level of their opponent in the past. 


GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Can Darrius Heyward-Bey replace Martavis Bryant for the first month in Pittsburgh?

Treon Harris to start at QB for Gators’ opening game

Marshawn Lynch campaigning for Seahawks to sign Fred Jackson

Alabama vs. Wisconsin showdown not selling many tickets

Report: Last-minute Deflategate settlement deal very unlikely

Aaron Rodgers doesn't want to play in 2016 Hall of Fame Game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Floyd Mayweather Sr.: Manny Pacquiao a 'liar with no skills'

Reports: LeSean McCoy's Week 1 status still uncertain

Jay Feely told Deflategate judge about 2009 kicking incident

Jon Gruden calls Marcus Mariota a ‘double-edged sword’

Report: Bills expected to cut Matt Cassel

Garcon: RG3 can be ‘great player on any team that he goes to’

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Be careful what you wish for, Jay Gruden

Ryan taking leap of faith with Bills

Top 10 storylines for Week 1 of college football season

Underdogs: Hopefuls that can shock in the World Cup

Manfred digs Shoeless Joe a deeper grave

Why Mike Trout ain't right

The Opening Drive: Jamal Anderson warns UM fans before heading to Salt Lake City

Best and worst MLB players in August

RG3 blames intern for liking Instagram post trashing owner

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker