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"Talking New York Rangers Hockey, since 2007"
New York, NY • United States • 23 Years Old • Male
In April, when the Rangers are battling for position in the Eastern Conference, nobody is going to care how they got points in October. All that will matter is how many games were won, lost, and lost in extra time. So when asked if this road trip to Western Canada can be a success, with a win tonight in Winnipeg, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” Yes, they struggled mightily in all three games so far. Yes, they would have lost all of them if not for the heroic efforts on Henrik Lundqvist. But think about it like this: you would be happy if they lost a close one to Vancouver, then won the next three straight in dominant fashion. In April, 3-1 is 3-1. Good enough for me.

Meanwhile, the Rangers still need to win this game tonight, and hopefully others. Obviously, things need to change. The players seem to be begging me to write more about bad penalties and missing the net. But that would be beating a dead horse. And this horse has been dead for months.

So much for the Rangers scoring depth. The 3rd line of Fedotenko-Boyle-Prust has been alright, but besides for that, the secondary scoring is non-existent. The Pack Line is close to being renamed the slack line. They have abandoned their grinding for goals style, instead opting to try fancy plays they can’t make, and shoot for corners they can’t hit. Someone needs to remind the trio why they started with the grinding style to begin with: they are not that talent. As far as the 4th line, containing some combination of Rupp, Christensen, Newbury and Wolski, they are making it real hard for me to explain why Carl Hagelin or Ryan Bourque are not in New York. Even more puzzling was seeing them on the ice when trailing late in the 3rd.

For all the complaints about Michael Del Zotto, and I am not denying his propensity to make bonehead plays, he leads the Rangers with a +4 rating. Meanwhile, fans have been singing the praises of Steve Eminger, and I am not denying the number of solid plays he has made, but is worst on the club with a -3 rating. Aberration, or is Del Zotto better at doing the little, less noticeable things that prevent goals against?

Results and Schedule
Tue Oct 18, 2011 NYR (4) - VAN (0)
Thu Oct 20, 2011 NYR (3) - CGY (2) OT
Sat Oct 22, 2011 NYR (0) - EDM (2)

Mon Oct 24, 2011 Rangers vs Jets 8:30 PM
Thu Oct 27, 2011 Maple Leafs vs Rangers 7:00 PM
Sat Oct 29, 2011 Senators vs Rangers 3:00 PM


The travel schedule is an easy excuse to make for the team’s struggles, and I am all for making excuses. When they fit the symptoms. But do the Rangers look tired or slow? To me, it seems like a team with a weak defense (which is true) and a confusion of identity. They are making a conscious choice to be finesse instead of power. It’s the same ailment that struck the New York Football Jets when they abandoned ground-and-pound for a gunslinger offense. What happened to being a hard team to play against? Maybe Tortorella is too enamored with the addition of Brad Richards to remember that they still don’t have enough skill to change the gameplan.

As far as the tough travel schedule, after the game against the Winnipeg Hockey Jets, the Rangers start a long homestand with 6 games in 11 days. It is crucial, because if Rangers fans have no panicked yet about the slow start, they certainly will if the travel excuse goes out the window. And when Rangers fans get panicked, they spend hours and hours of formulating impossible trades, roster moves, and lineup construction. Who knows, they may even call for the return of Sean Avery. Oy vey!

Demand the return of Avery in the comment section below

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Filed Under:   rags2riches   rags2riches   rangers   tortorella   jets   wpg  
October 24, 2011 10:19 PM ET | Delete
I demand the return on Avery.
October 25, 2011 12:12 PM ET | Delete
The big line wasnt that noticeable when I went to game in Calgary. Perhaps you need a big power forward like Bourque
October 25, 2011 12:13 PM ET | Delete
We sure could use Dubinsky, who I noticed his role has diminished a bit. That Boyle kid looks great.
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