Home HockeyBuzz Register Login
"Talking New York Rangers Hockey, since 2007"
New York, NY • United States • 23 Years Old • Male

Kill 'Em All

Posted 5:52 PM ET | Comments 3
3 games + 5 goals = No wins. It seems simple enough: once again the Rangers have scoring issues. The reason is no longer lack of talent up front, instead the cause is far more painful because it is self-inflicted, not Sather-inflicted. The Rangers should be winning games. They outscore opponents at a 1.25:1 ratio at even strength. Unfortunately, they have spent 9:40 per game shorthanded (2nd worst in NHL), so aside from the negative effects that falling behind in the game has on scoring, aside from the forwards who become exhausted from killing those penalties, aside from the offensive flow that is broken up by infractions, there is a bigger problem. The Rangers only get 50 minutes per game to play offense. They are not going to win like that, even if they kill 'em all.

Another problem is turning out to be shots on goal. Watch a Rangers game and the talent on offense is obvious. Somehow, this doesn't translate to pucks getting on net. Even with only 50 minutes per game of offense, they should be able to generate more than 24 shots per game (2nd worst in NHL). What doesn't help is missing 25 shots in 3 games. The club seems like its one or two better passes away from scoring, one better shot away from winning. Indeed, the Rangers are close to finding that scoring touch, and it should come any day now. Hopefully that day comes sooner than later.

The player who best embodies the Rangers struggles is Brandon Dubinsky. He has an assist. That is good. The rest is bad. 20 PIM, and none of them are major penalties, which means he got called for 9 penalties (one was a double minor) in 3 games. Take a moment to take that in. One penalty every period. Remember that issue we talked about earlier, with the penalties hurting the Rangers? I think we found the problem. He has as many shots on net as he does missed shots (3), and while you may think sitting in the box has hurt his offense, he still gets 19:53 minutes of ice time per game (3rd among NYR forwards). Its 3 games in, too early to panic. But if anyone needs to shape up, its Dubinsky.

In positive news, the top line looks great, especially with the addition of Derek Stepan (and demotion of Dubinsky). We have talked enough about Stepan and how important it is for him to get quality ice time and not wallow on the 3rd line. He can not ask for a better opportunity than this. Gaborik and Richards look very strong together, but can't seem to find that finish while in the zone. What really stands out is the transition game, as once again Richards found a teammate on a long pass for a breakaway, this time with Gaborik converting the chance. Gaborik, with 2 goals already on the year, looks more like the '09 player who topped 40 goals than last year's version who got stuck at 22. That is good news.

What a turnaround in the faceoff circle. Yeah, it helps that Brad Richards has won 80%,

(I will wait for you to pick your jaw off the floor)

but all of the Rangers player, except Boyle, are operating at over 50% at the dot. All together, it gives the Rangers the early league lead with 57.3% won. Don't think it is that important? Every team that has led the league in FO% since the lockout has had a 100 point season. Its not a coincidence. Winning offensive zone faceoffs creates scoring, winning defensive zone faceoffs prevents scoring against, and neutral zone faceoffs are nice to pad the stats.


Sat Oct 15, 2011 NYR (2) - NYI (4)

Tue Oct 18, 2011 Rangers Canucks 10:00 PM
Thu Oct 20, 2011 Rangers Flames 9:30 PM
Sat Oct 22, 2011 Rangers Oilers 10:00 PM


Happy trails Mats Zuccarello. Not enough can be said about the Norwegian Hobbit's talent. But at the end of the day, he doesn't have what it takes to cut it as a top 6 forward in the NHL's physical game and smaller rinks. He certainly is not fit for a bottom 6 role. So, like Jonah, he gets swallowed up by the Whale, which then regurgitated Kris Newbury, who should not see much of the ice if Wojtek Wolski stays healthy. Somehow, the calls for Avery continue, even though he has not practiced since returning from Europe due to a shoulder injury.

The Rangers begin their western trip this week, after playing their only USA game before the home opener. Once they get over to western Canada the travel and schedule should not be a big issue as the three teams they face are close in proximity while the games are every other day. The teams have a collective record on 4-6-2, and if the Rangers get off on the right foot vs. Vancouver, their toughest opponent, it could be a successful trip. Just what the doctor ordered.

Medicate yourselves in the comment section below

Weekly Recap/Preview blogs at the start of every week
Opinion blogs at the end of every week

Follow me on Twitter @ragstworiches
October 17, 2011 6:10 PM ET | Delete
Alex lol great stuff brotha. I enjoyed this and you're right if we beat Vancouver in Vancouver that's a huge step in the right direction. Looks like a late night tomorrow.
October 17, 2011 6:45 PM ET | Delete
Thanks Adam.
October 18, 2011 10:05 AM ET | Delete
Points in two of the losses though...if they win a couple, the story quickly changes to "points in four of the first five games." They are a good, hardworking team.
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to leave a comment.

Blog Archive

20 Again