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Rangers Making a Stand, But Does It Really Mean Something?

Eric LaForgeCorrespondent IDecember 24, 2009

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 23:  Vinny Prospal #20 of the New York Rangers celebrates his second period goal against the Florida Panthers on  December 23, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The beginning of this season was one that no Ranger's fan will ever forget. A seven game winning streak that had them tied for the conference lead right out of the gates.

However, there's a reason that the season is longer than seven games, and the Rangers showed us that. They slowly began to fall towards the bottom of the standings.

Their fall from the top was something that didn't happen overnight. They fought hard to keep their ground. After rising to the top of the standings in a matter of weeks, it took two months for them to fall out of playoff contention.

However, over the past four games, the Rangers have been able to recap some of that magic from the beginning of the season. Everything has been better. They have been scoring goals, and more importantly, stopping the puck from entering their own.

Over the past four games, their goals for have doubled their goals against. They have scored 14 while only allowing 7.

Although this winning streak is a great thing for the team. It really doesn't mean as much as people are making it out to be.

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The Rangers have played some tremendous hockey over the past four games. However, their wins have not come against difficult clubs. In those four games, the Rangers have not played a single team above .500.

Their schedule has been anything but difficult. The good news is that they will continue to play easy teams until the beginning of 2010. The next four games they play will be against teams below .500, including a back-to-back series against the Carolina Hurricanes.

If there's ever been a time for the Rangers to get their confidence back, it would be now. They could easily win their next few games and climb back into the standings.

Although I think that it's unlikely for the Rangers to climb to the top, it's a great time for them to set up the remainder of their season. If they can win the next few games, it could be a great confidence boost to the team.

A confidence boost is just what this team, and the fans, need at this point in the season.

You may see more of my NHL opinions at Tips for Hockey

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