Rangers not comfortable despite fast start: ‘Things change overnight'

The Rangers aren’t buying into the notion that if an NHL team sits in a playoff spot by Thanksgiving, then said team will likely go on to qualify for the postseason.

Currently third in the Metropolitan Division at 13-4-3 through their first 20 games, the Rangers happen to be one of those teams. The Rangers, however, aren’t letting themselves get comfortable.

“There’s still a lot of hockey left to be played this year,” defenseman Adam Fox said Saturday after practice in Tarrytown. “Obviously, we’ve put ourselves in a good position in this start of the year. There’s still a lot of hockey.

“I think we want to continue the momentum we have right now and put together a lot of wins. We know we’re in a pretty tough division, so I wouldn’t say you’re ever secure. I think every point matters.”

The Rangers won’t have a chance to add to their point total Sunday, however, as their game against the Islanders was postponed due to their rivals’ COVID-19 outbreak.

adam fox, gerard gallant, new york rangers

Gerard Gallant does not want his team to ease off after the Rangers’ fast start.

Corey Sipkin

While they may be tied with the Flames to round out the top five teams in the league with 29 points, the Rangers aren’t getting ahead of themselves. Head coach Gerard Gallant has tried to instill a day-to-day approach in the Rangers, especially since things change so quickly in the NHL.

“In this league, things change overnight,” Gallant said. “COVID hits your team, and the New York Islanders are a perfect example. You just got take it one day at a time. We’re real happy with the way things are going today, but tomorrow things could change in a heartbeat.”

The Rangers bounced back from losing the first three games of November to win seven of the next eight. Their 29 points mark the Rangers’ best 20-game start to a season since they went 14-5-1 to open the 2016-17 campaign.

Fox said he believes the Rangers have had to learn how to deal with their recent success.

“I think we’ve done a pretty good job of not letting our lows be too low and the highest be too high,” he said. “We’ve went through a lot of tough stretches these past few years, and I think we’re understanding how to win games now a little more. Just understanding that every game is a new challenge and we’re not really dwelling on any losses or wins or focusing on the past.

“I think we do a good job of moving on to the next game and trying to focus on that. I think we’re handling these wins good right now and obviously got a good group of guys in there to manage the emotions, too.”


With points in 15 of 20 games this season, Fox leads all NHL defensemen with 17 assists and 21 points. Friday’s matchup in Boston marked Fox’s 145th NHL game, making him one of 22 NHL defensemen to record 110 points in his first 145 games and one of eight to have 93 or more assists over that same span.

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