‘You can’t take your foot off the gas’: New York Rangers hoping to crush franchise-record win streak

      The Blueshirts are riding the high of an eight-game win streak, and they hope the good days keep rolling.

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      For a while, things were starting to look dire in the Big Apple.

      From Dec. 1 until Jan. 15, the Rangers were the 17th-best team in the league with a record of 11-9-1. But right now, they’re riding the high of an eight-game win streak, three games short of tying the franchise record of 10 set in 1939-40 and 1972-73.

      Heading into tonight’s game against the New Jersey Devils, the Blueshirts are hoping to keep things rolling. 

      “I think we’ve been winning in different ways,” defenseman Adam Fox said. “This is the time where you see points are so crucial and you start getting a playoff picture. You win eight straight, but teams are still right there with you – so you can’t take your foot off the gas and we recognize that.”

      The streak started on Jan. 27 after the team scored seven unanswered goals on the road against the Ottawa Senators. At the time, the hot topic was in the next, with Igor Shesterkin getting outplayed by 38-year-old veteran Jonathan Quick.

      But since returning from NHL All-Star Weekend, the Russian goalkeeper has gone 4-0-0 with a .937 save percentage along with a 2.26 goals-against average and a shutout to boot. Shesterkin has found his game, especially after his 41-save performance on Tuesday night against the Dallas Stars – one of his best performances of the season.

      This Rangers unit has found itself in a different position than in previous years. This is Fox’s fifth season in the NHL and the first time the team has had the division lead this late in a campaign. The past two years, they’ve found themselves sitting third in the Metro. Today, the Rangers hold a six-point advantage over the second-place Hurricanes.

      “It’s maybe a little different when you have teams chasing you versus you doing the chasing,” Fox said. “Just trying to set yourself for the best success for the postseason. We recognize you have to take care of business now to set yourself up for that.”

      Fox understands that it’s essential to have regular-season success, but he knows the fans care more about what happens in the spring.

      “As we’ve gone along over my time here, I think we’ve started to keep moving in the right direction during the regular season – keep piling up wins,” he said. “Obviously, all anyone really cares about at the end of the day is what we do beyond the regular season, but what you do now sets you up for that too.”

      Coach Peter Laviolette has done an excellent job at keeping the team focused on taking the season one day at a time.

      “We don’t talk about it much, right now we just talk about winning games. It’s really short-term,” Laviolette said.  “We left January – we left the break and came in and said we’re turning the page here — this is a new chapter. Our actions are the ink. Write it down and say what you want to say. We’ve been going slow with it and the guys have bought into that.”


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