Let me preface this by stating that the title of the post is complete sarcasm.
In the past two games, the Rangers have been outscored 13-4. That’s pretty terrible. Actually, it’s not pretty terrible, it IS terrible. And don’t think that this is a coincidence that Wade Redden is out and the Rangers fall apart for 13 goals against. There is definitely some correlation there. But, as optimistic as I am, it has become abundantly clear that the Rangers that started the season 7-1 are not the real Rangers.
This team is rebuilding. I have said it numerous times, they are rebuilding. Rebuilding in New York is extremely tough, because you have to remain competitive while rebuilding. Us New Yorkers expect W’s, regardless of the team that is being put on the ice. In order for the Rangers to be successful this year, they needed outstanding defensive play from their veterans, and have only received that play from one player, who is now injured. Dan Girardi and Michal Rozsival have been awful, with Marc Staal not that far behind. Micheal Del Zotto and Matt Gilroy are rookies, and you have to take the good with the bad with them, not much was expected, although both have been pleasant surprises.
In order for the Rangers to be successful, they needed the secondary scoring to come alive. It hasn’t. No need to get into this one again.
They needed primary scoring. Well, one out of three ain’t bad.
Not only are the Rangers rebuilding with youngsters in the lineup, but they are rebuilding with a different system in place. The reason why the new guys (veterans and youngins) have adjusted to this so well is because they didn’t have to completely unlearn the Tom Renney system first. When you have to unlearn something, and then learn the complete opposite, it takes time and is extremely difficult. That’s why the accounting profession is so damn hard (side note, if you understand this reference, I’m impressed).
Is this current Ranger squad a playoff team? I said they are before the season started, and I still believe they are. They will hopefully make the playoffs, as a lower seed, probably a 7 or an 8. But, as the playoffs has shown, a hot goalie AND a potent offense can carry a team in the playoffs. The Rangers have both. It’s just a matter of timing at that point.