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"Talking New York Rangers Hockey, since 2007"
New York, NY • United States • 23 Years Old • Male
The 0-2 Rangers are finished their whirlwind trip through Europe, and get a week off before beginning the remaining 80 games of the season. There are a lot of positives and negatives to take from the two regular season games, an OT loss to the Kings and a SO loss to the Ducks. Let’s get right to it.

Positives
Goaltending:
Even though he didn’t pick up any wins, Henrik Lundqvist sure impressed on his home turf in Stockholm. He posted a 9.31 SV% and 1.51 GAA in two games, while making some spectacular saves to keep the Rangers in it long enough to steal all important points. Many “experts” are predicting a Vezina for the 3 time finalist; this is a great way to start the season.

Puck Movement:
This team looks totally different from the one dimensional dump-and-chase-and-cycle team of 2010-11. There is creativity and flow in the passing game, especially through the neutral zone. Case in point, in the first period vs. Anaheim, Brad Richards hit Brandon Dubinsky and Brian Boyle with long stretch passes that lead to breakaway chances. The opportunities were there; if the team does a good job of exploiting the opportunities by making better shots and better second passes, the goals will come.

Ryan Callahan:
Hitting. Shooting. Passing. Captaining. The man was a fire on the ice.

Resiliency:
We hoped we would not have to rely on it this year, but the hallmark of last season’s club came through again. Despite struggling to find the back of the net for the first two periods, the Rangers scored a late period goal in each game, both involving new acquisition Brad Richards.

Points:
At the end of the day, while losing both games is disappointing, the Rangers came away with 2 points, the equivalent of splitting the two games (besides for tiebreak purposes). They held serve despite a difficult travel schedule, and get to return home without being in a hole to start the year.

Negatives
Defense:
The young, inexperienced defense had its struggles, as expected, giving up two goals on poor coverage in front of the net. That area of the ice seemed to give the Rangers the most trouble, as both the Ducks and Kings got numerous chances in that area. The Steve Eminger/Tim Erixon pairing struggled defensively throughout the games. This should be a trend throughout the season; we will see how quickly the young defenseman improve and how soon Marc Staal is able to return to action.

Penalties:
Aside from being the reason for losing the season opener, the penalties committed by the Rangers were flow killers. The talented forwards never got a chance to get a bunch of consecutive shifts, and that was reflected in the score sheet. You can’t take the puck off the stick of your best players if you want to win. Discipline needs to be better.

Finishing:
As we mentioned earlier, there were a lot of “almost” opportunities that were lost due to bad shots or passes. A bit more precision is needed for these plays to result in goals.

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Results and Schedule

Last Week
NYR (2) - LAK (3) OT
NYR (1) - ANA (2) SO

Upcoming
Sat Oct 15, 2011 Rangers Islanders 7:00 PM

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The Rangers get a week of practice to work out the kinks. Then, it’s a trip to the Island to play a young and talented Islanders club. Historically, the Rangers have had success against the Islanders, especially on offense. A breakout game looks like it is coming for the team, and what better way to get it than against a rival and former Rangers prospect goalie Al Montoya.

Break out in the comment section below

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Filed Under:   rags2riches   rags2riches   rangers   kings   ducks   cally   hank  
October 9, 2011 5:53 PM ET | Delete
Good analysis -I agree. Not sure about some of thecalls though - they seem to be calling things very tight. Therewas a hit along the boards where defensemanturned at the last moment and got hit fr
October 9, 2011 5:59 PM ET | Delete
October 9, 2011 6:05 PM ET | Delete
...from behind - partially - and it wasn't any big deal but they call it anyway.Seems that if players know they can draw calls they'lldo that all day. I thought a bunch of the calls were suspect.Del Zotto looks terrible - as usual.
October 10, 2011 6:51 PM ET | Delete
Yeah that call on Cally was not a good one. The defenseman put himself in that position and was aware Cally was coming. I didn't like that call either. Doesn't matter, so many of the other calls were avoidable. Boyle took two sloppy penalties in the ANA game. Got to clean it up.
October 11, 2011 11:59 AM ET | Delete
Good write-up. I'm not sure I agree with a Vezina prediction for Lundqvist, but a season on par with last year's should put this new Ranger squad squarely in the playoffs.
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