Originally written on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 11/15/14

In the early stages of Wednesday’s 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets, the New York Rangers resembled the hockey club that struggled its way through the month of March with inconsistent play and many flaws to their game. In the second half of the tilt, however, the Rangers showed signs of the team that won seven straight back in November into December to take the League by surprise. 

While that may have only been 30 minutes, it was 30 minutes of excellence and pleasing memories. It’s exactly how the Blueshirts will want to wrap up their final five games of the 2011-12 regular season before the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in April.

With the Rangers, especially while coached by John Tortorella, their success is determined by effort and commitment. It’s well known by now that they are no intimidating powerhouse as far as skill is concerned, so the ways in which they make up for that lack of talent will carry them far when the postseason rolls around.

This means hard backchecking, consistent forechecking, no careless turnovers in all three zones, exceptional goaltending and a whole lot of will to win. All of this, at some point, has been absent from the Rangers’ game over the course of the last month. Even in their last few games, despite being on a three-game winning streak, the commitment and effort have not always been there.

Example? Brandon Dubinsky’s idiotic slashing penalty immediately after going down 2-0 in the second period last night. And I’m not trying to single Dubi out here, but that decision is a perfect example of a lack of commitment.

To be completely fair, I’ll even pick on Henrik Lundqvist a bit here. It was evident that he was not as focused as he usually is prior to the last two games or so. Some of the goals that were getting by him were simply unacceptable from a goaltender of his caliber. That, too, was a lack of commitment.

The commitment from the entire team undoubtedly was missing through the first half of last night’s game in Winnipeg. Undisciplined penalties followed by some shoddy defensive play put the team in a hole before captain Ryan Callahan dug them out. 

But, see, this is why I love the leadership on this team so much. Callahan singlehandedly changed the tone of that match on Wednesday. His teammates quickly jumped on his shoulders and they ended up scoring four unanswered goals to earn two humungous points in the standings. 

These were the moments that made the first half of the season so memorable and enjoyable. The way in which the Rangers always found ways to rally around their teammates to produce a team effort that got them a win was marvelous. Earlier in the year there was no deficit the Rangers couldn’t recover from – none. We saw it all. 

Unfortunately that stability and that excitement around the team went MIA for a long stretch of time, but finally made its return in the second half of last night’s win. And again, I realize it was only 30 minutes, but the Rangers now need to capture that 30 minutes and bottle it. Bottle it and run with it for the remainder of the regular season and into the playoffs.

If they can do that, there’s no telling just how far those thirty minutes can take them.

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Wolves trade Corey Brewer to the Rockets

Yankees trade Prado to Marlins for Eovaldi in 5-player deal

Brandon Browner fined $8K for throwing Brandon Gibson to turf

Report: Sharper, NFLers called spiked drinks 'horny juice'

Rex Ryan: My wife could coach Tom Brady

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jim Harbaugh won in laser tag by 'hunting' 10-year-old kid

Eddie Lacy is ‘very blind,’ refuses to wear goggles

Michael Phelps pleads guilty to DUI, gets probation

NFL scouts not in love with Amari Cooper?

Report: No teams interested in trading for Lance Stephenson

It is not Chip Kelly's fault if Eagles miss playoffs

Video: Swaggy P elbows Steven Adams in throat, gets ejected

Video: Grizzlies buy car for assistant who had his stolen

Video: LeBron takes pass to the face from Dion Waiters

New video of Ray Rice incident emerges

President Obama calls James Franco “James Flacco”

NBA games of the weekend: Rondo's Dallas debut, Bulls-Grizz

Tuscaloosa students will have two days off if Bama plays in National Championship

Brady scares the **** out of his teammates celebrating

Longhorn Network’s yule log? Five hours of BEVO

Will a Chiefs WR finally catch a TD in Week 16?

Jon Lester and the Cubs

The Toronto Raptors reveal their new logo

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.

Three quarterbacks who could be traded this offseason

Jon Lester and the Cubs

Report: NFL players used 'horny juice'

Top 10 worst NBA related commercials of all-time

Phelps gets probation for DUI

NFL coaches on hot seat in Week 16

The Roy Williams-Terrell Owens horse collar turns 10

Most underpaid NFL players in 2014

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.