The first half of the rangers season ended on a bad note, with a 3-0 loss to the Canucks in Vancouver. The expectations this team had coming into the season were not met by their 20-17-4 record, totaling 44 points in 41 games. But overall this team had two sides and personalities.
The good side, the side that had them playing hard, creating chances, scoring goals, playing defense and getting wins. That side appeared during a 12-2 run that temporarily boosted the Rangers into first place in the Atlantic. They were winning games 3-2, 4-2 and 4-3, scored that reflected the effort that was out into the games.
The good side, however, was surrounded by two bad sides. The first nine games, going 2-5-1 showed the Rangersi inability to score goals. They were far below the rest of the league in scoring, Gomez, Drury, Jagr and Shanahan were not doing what they are paid to do. Then came the second bad side, after the 10-2 run came to an end. This time, they didnt play defense, goping 5-8-2 and giving up 4 or more goals 8 times, after giving up that amount only 2 times in the prior 26 games. Lundqvist seems shaken up, the team defense is weak, and the opposition finds no trouble in getting good scoring chances.
It was a transfer from defense to offense, first having good defense but not enough offense, then having both, before losing the defense and having only offense. To win, Rangers will have to combine the offense and defense, something they can and have done, and that wil be the only way to have a successful second half and a chance at the cup.
The new season begins on Saturday in Edmonton. It is time to capitalize.