Rangers coach John Tortorella stands behind the New York bench during a game against the Boston Bruins, Jan. 19. The Rangers fell 3-1.
New York is reeling. Winless in four of their last five games, including a mark of 0-2-1 in their last three, the Rangers are desperate for answers.
With a surging Winnipeg team coming to town, emerging from the basement of the Eastern Conference won’t be easy by any means for the Rangers, who sit in 10th place, with 18 points.
Coach John Tortorella delivered a message to his team after practice Monday. “Don’t panic,” he said, courtesy of the New York Daily News.
Prior to the regular season, the Rangers were favored to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup, with odds of 17/2. As of now, the prediction is nothing more than fantasy. And panic is in the air.
No matter, Tortorella said now is not the time for his club to be alarmed.
“You have to handle (high expectations) correctly when you’re having a little bit of a jam here,” Tortorella said, according to the Daily News. “If you don’t handle the pressure the proper way, I think you get in the way. It binds you. I think this is a team that needs something good to happen to it to try to gain some confidence.”
That would be a start, especially on offense, where the Rangers have struggled to find the back of the net lately.
The offense, or lack thereof, has gone dry, posting just seven goals in the last five games alone.
Injuries have plagued the Rangers. Rick Nash is still out with an undisclosed injury. Nash has just three goals on the season, but leads the Rangers with 12 points.
Either way, the Rangers must step up offensively or risk dropping out of playoff contention. In their last five games, the Rangers have received just four goals from three forwards, and three goals from three defensemen.
That streak must come to a halt.
“As a collective group, we have to pick up for the guys that are missing,” captain Ryan Callahan said, according to NHL.com. “It can’t be one or two guys doing it themselves.”
Callahan and the rest of the Rangers offensive will have their work cut out for them against the Jets, inside Madison Square Garden tonight. The Jets are looking to end a successful five-game road swing, which has seen them win three of their first four. The Jets have recorded 13 goals during their current road trip.