Listen there is still plenty wrong with this team, but I've been very encouraged with the third period fight I've seen from the Rangers the last two games.
Immediately after the Brandon Sutter goal gave the Penguins a 3-1 lead, the Rangers sagged and I thought for sure the game was over as has been the case so often this season.
Thankfully, since the Rangers receive zero inspiration from their head coach, Marc-Andre Fleury gave them a Christmas gift in the form of a misplayed harmless John Moore wrist shot and the comeback was on.
Here's some Rangers reaction (via Bergen Record)…
“I think it’s great that we come back with two straight goals in two straight games. At the same time, maybe it would be nice to grab a lead. A lot of character was shown and we got some traction, some bite, some pushback in our game. But it would be nice to have control in the third period.”
“We showed character again. We’ve been down the last couple of games, but any time you’re down two goals and you get a point, it’s huge.”
“We were in a tough spot. But we kept fighting and that’s a good sign. Things haven’t gone our way the last few weeks, but all we can do is fight and work as hard as we can and stay together here and hopefully things turn around. I feel like the last two games, we’re making progress.”
…i'm not naive to think the Rangers still win that game without Fleury's momentum swinging gaffe, but they still needed to take advantage of the opportunity handed to them and I've been impressed with the resiliency this team has shown recently, which is very reminiscent of what we saw in 2011-12.
…now I'm not ready to say the Rangers have turned a corner but comebacks such as these are huge confidence builders for a team struggling mentally and looking to forge an identity.
…i also think having the team taste a little success due to hard work can have a real positive influence on their mindset, which will hopefully lead to more passion and emotion in their game going forward. And God knows they need it because it's no secret that AV is not motivating these guys right now.