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Despite record, Vigneault is ‘very aware’ Rangers need improvement

Marc Staal, Kevin Hayes, Henrik Lundqvist, Chris Kreider

Marc Staal, Kevin Hayes, Henrik Lundqvist, Chris Kreider


The New York Rangers may be 11-2-2, and they may have won six in a row. But that doesn’t mean their coach, Alain Vigneault, is 100-percent satisfied with the way his team his playing.

“Our record’s pretty good,” he said after last night’s 3-0 win over Carolina, “but we still have areas that we’re working on, that we need to improve. We’re very aware of that.”

The Rangers only managed 23 shots against the Hurricanes, with 33 allowed. And that wasn’t unusual for the Blueshirts. On the season, they’re averaging 28.5 shots for versus 32.1 against. Only three teams -- Florida, Ottawa, and Detroit -- have a worse shot differential than that.

Of course, not many teams have a goalie like Henrik Lundqvist.

“Obviously, you need good goaltending to kill off the number of penalties that we had,” said Vigneault, alluding to the six times the Rangers were shorthanded versus the ‘Canes.

With the shutout, Lundqvist’s save percentage improved to .949. Among regular starters, only the Blues’ red-hot Jake Allen (.950) has a higher save rate than that.

But even Lundqvist can’t be expected to maintain that level all season. He finished at .922 last year. His career best is .930.

“We’re like any team in the NHL,” said Vigneault. “You’ve got to get better as the season moves forward, and that’s what we’re going to continue to strive for.”

The Rangers host Allen’s Blues tomorrow.