This was written prior to Monday’s game against the Isles but I was unable to post it due to some technical difficulties.
Last time around it was pretty doom and gloom for most Rangers fans as the team got off to a shaky start. Although there were a few bright spots such as the incredible play of Henrik Lundqvist and the defensive play of some of the younger players, the team for the most part needed to make serious improvements. And improve they did. Over the last ten games the Rangers managed to win nine, including four games on the road which helped propel them into first place in the Atlantic division. Everyone has stepped up their game. From Gomez and Jagr to Dubinsky and Strudwick, the Rangers have managed to contribute as a team and not depend solely on one or two individuals. Although the offense is still underachieving, the team is finding ways to win through strong defensive hockey. If the team can continue to play this way and start getting more regular offensive contributions from everyone in the line-up, than they will surely live up to expectations. For now though, the season is still young and the team has a long way to go. But for Rangers fans it’s good to see they are at least heading in the right direction.
OVERALL RECORD 12-7-1
(3rd in the East, 1st in the Atlantic) (Home : 8-2-0, Away: 4-5-1)
Recent Ten Game Record (9-1-0)
First Ten Game Record (3-6-1)
Last Ten Game Results
1) Oct. 29 vs. Lightning W 3-1 6) Nov. 8 vs. Penguins W 4-2
2) Nov.1 vs. Capitals W 2-0 7) Nov. 10 @ Leafs W 3-2
3) Nov. 3 vs. Devils W 2-1 8) Nov. 14 @ Devils W 4-2
4) Nov. 5 vs. Flyers W 2-0 9) Nov. 15 @ Flyers W 4-3
5) Nov. 6 @ Islanders L 3-2 10)Nov. 17 @ Penguins W 4-3
MVP To Date
- Henrink Lundqvist: The King has been sensational so far this season. Posting a 1.79 GAA and a 93.1 save percentage in 19 starts. Of those 19, twelve were victories; including four shut outs. Without Hank one can only begin to imagine where the Rangers would be this early in the season. Long live the King.
Most Improved Since Last Report
- Scott Gomez: Over the last ten games Scott Gomez has slowly began to show signs to merit his hefty offseason contract. Although he still faces periods of inconsistency during games, Gomez did manage a nine game point streak and has shown chemistry on a line with Avery and Shanahan.
- Rangers fans have to be happy with what they’ve seen from their young players so far this season. Each has begun taking on a larger role while showing signs of improving from game to game. While Dawes was able to find the back of the net more so than most Rangers forwards, and although Dubinsky has been rewarded with the job as the top centre on Jagr’s line, the real cream of the crop has to be Marc Staal. Staal played his way onto the top pairing with Rozsival when Malik went down with an injury. And when most rookies would show signs of inexperience when taking such a large role, Staal showed no signs of discomfort. He seems to be getting more comfortable carrying the puck and playing the body every game and the Rangers seem to have finally found a true defensive star; something they haven’t had since Leetch was traded to Toronto.
- Many highly touted Rangers prospects have walked through the doors of MSG over the last decade, but for once it finally looks as though the Rangers have a few young stars who will stay and lead this team for a long time.
Top Scorers During First Ten Games
*League Leader Amount
Goals: Jaromir Jagr (2) (*10)
Assists: Jaromir Jagr (7) (*12)
Points: Jaromir Jagr (9) (*20)
+/-: Marcel Hossa (+2) (*+12)
Goals: Michael Rozsival (6) (*17)
Assists: Jaromir Jagr (13) (*20)
Points: Jaromir Jagr (17) (*34)
+/- : Marc Staal (4) (*15)
PIM: Colton Orr (33) (*85)
- WAS: 13% (24th in the League)
- IS: 14.8% (22nd in the League)
The Rangers power play has been the team’s weakest area so far this season. They haven’t been able to find any level of chemistry or consistency and therefore it has hindered the team’s ability to put away teams late in games.
- WAS: 88% (6th in the League)
- IS: 89.2% (4th in the League)
While the power play has consistently failed the team at critical times, the penalty continues to thrive. Blair Betts and Chris Drury have become two of the league’s premier penalty killers. Shanahan, Hossa, and Avery have also been good.
Next Ten Games
1) Nov. 19 vs. Islanders 6) Dec. 1 @ Senators
2) Nov. 21 @ Lightning 7) Dec. 3 vs. Hurricanes
3) Nov. 23 @ Panthers 8) Dec. 6 vs. Leafs
4) Nov. 25 vs. Stars 9) Dec. 7 @ Thrashers
5) Nov. 29 vs. Islanders 10) Dec. 9 vs.Devils
See you all in ten games. Please check out my other blogs for more hockey analysis.