Originally posted on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 11/27/11

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Brian Boyle #24 of the New York Rangers before the game against the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center on February 2, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

In their past two wins against the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers, the New York Rangers arguably played their best hockey of the season; better than they did during their seven-game winning streak two weeks ago. Don't get me wrong, there were times when they looked very sharp throughout that streak, but they weren't playing to their potential. 

In a very well thought-out column in today's New York Post, Larry Brooks suggests that the Rangers' problem previously had been that they were trying too hard to replicate the 2010-11 season. Yes, the roster, for the most part, has remained in-tact since then, but now, in 2011-12, the Rangers are a more mature and developed hockey club ready to tackle larger challenges. In other words, it was time to establish a new identity for this year and leave last season in the past. 

Brian Boyle said that transformation occurred over the course of this past weekend...

“I think as individuals we had to figure that out, we had to get going,” said Brian Boyle. “We had that [seven-game] winning streak, but I don’t think we were particularly satisfied with the way we were playing.

“I think after we lost in Florida, we decided, ‘Screw it, we know how to play.’ ”

In the game against the Caps after that loss to Florida, the Rangers sure showed us how to play. They were in the Caps' faces, resilient on the forecheck and they were hitting them as much as possible. The Rangers are a bigger force than they were a year ago. I think last season the Blueshirts were often considered the underdogs in match-ups like that, but that's no longer the case. They are a whole different beast in 2011-12. 

Now I know what you are going to say about yesterday's win; the Flyers were without key players in their lineup. However, seeing how the Rangers defended against their top scorer, Claude Giroux, I don't know how much of a difference those players would have made if they were in the lineup. The Rangers weren't losing yesterday, and they came out and established that just four seconds into the game. 

Oh, and one more interesting tidbit from Brooks' article regarding Henrik Lundqvist and why he felt pressured to get the shutout Saturday afternoon...

“I have to say that I think I was playing with a guilty feeling because I miscalculated the time, showed up an hour late and missed the meeting,” revealed The King, who had made a couple of brilliant saves that included one on a breakaway early in the first period of Friday’s victory. “I know how important the first few minutes are, both to me and to the group.”

As long as Lundqvist continues to play the way he has this season, he can even skip warm-ups for all I care. But in all seriousness, that just shows how dedicated Henrik is to this hockey club. He felt like he owed them the win -- even though he didn't -- but he went out and got it anyway. All hail The King. 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Florida's Chiozza sends Wisconsin home on incredible buzzer-beater

LaVar Ball gets Crying Jordan, meme treatment after UCLA loss

Celtics upset Suns tried to pad Devin Booker’s stats

Five teams that may be interested in Blake Griffin this summer

Report: Tony Romo ‘believes it’s Texans or retirement’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Clay Matthews Sr. passes away at 88

WWE’s Kane is inching toward running for mayor in Tennessee

Jung Ho Kang denied visa for DUI, may miss 2017 MLB season

Jets not ready to say Josh McCown will be starter

Sens owner on Sidney Crosby: He’s 'a whiner' and should be suspended for Methot slash

Report: Griffin could be growing more open to leaving Clippers

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

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

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

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