After winning five of their past seven games and earning points in six of those, the New York Rangers are suddenly back in the thick of the Eastern Conference race after a horrible 0-2-2 start.
Mark Messier is not sure if he is ready to leave the game.
General manager and head coach Glen Sather is starting to see better results from a little tinkering instead of the usual reliance on adding big-money free agents older than 30 in the offseason. Rare continuity, especially on defense, is paying off lately as the Rangers are tied with Buffalo for eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 13 points, although New York has two games in hand.
Two things are clearly different with the Broadway Blueshirts as they attempt to end their franchise-record six-year playoff drought: defense and contributions from young players.
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