Welcome to this week’s edition of musings. This week’s version is entitled Start-To-Worry-But-Please-Don’t-Panic. With a dose of positivity in my veins, let’s get into it.
Let me immediately address the Zuccarello, Fasth and Lindberg news. I do not think any of the three can have a major impact on the Rangers this year. All three are talented but Zuke can’t cope physically in the NHL (from the evidence thus far) and Fasth and Lindberg would require time to settle in to North American hockey. If they come in as depth then sure; utilise their speed, their confidence from productive seasons. However, if they’re coming in to be difference makers then I am not sure. They’re still young.
The Rangers offense has dried up more than the Sahara desert so the three goal ‘explosion’ against the Jets was a welcome sight. What did they do right to get three goals? Traffic around the net and simply shooting. If only they’d have been willing to shoot more in that game… but it’s amazing how these simple aspects of hockey still lead to offense. This game we love isn’t rocket science.
Gaborik: He’s inconsistent, but although his form has started to improve I’d have ripped him a new one after the Jets game. He’s a shooter. He was brought in to shoot, to score, to bring offense. He has to be told he’s expected to shoot, he’s expected to score goals. As coach, I’d have demanded he shoot, shoot, shoot and really try to re-focus his thought process on being that world-class shooter that he is when he’s on form. He simply cannot pass up a 2 on 1. Ever.
Carl Hagelin continues to be busy and is one of the better Rangers, but are we now seeing how much he benefited from being on the opposite flank to Rick Nash?
Ryan Callahan’s shift where he broke his stick and still dominated the ice is one of the single most inspiring/impressive shifts I’ve seen. It deserved so much more than it got. It also summed up our captain. With no disrespect intended there are a lot of individuals on this roster more talented than Callahan. Yet he stands out, over performs. Every single player not named Henrik Lundqvist can take a page out of Cally’s book of intangibles.
Hosting Tampa Bay tonight. This is the first time this season where one single game, for me, begins to take on the ‘must win’ aspect. Rick Nash returning would be massive.
With the potential of a compliance buy-out this summer, and with guys such as Gaborik under-performing as Rangers management, do you starting gazing an eye over the Corey Perry contract stalemate? (food for thought)
Very commendable from Ryan McDonagh not to point the finger at Max Pacriottey for the hit that injured him but you know what? BE angry! Do blame him. Let’s see some passion from this roster. Use that bad hit as motivation. I sometimes get the feeling that Rangers players don’t want to say something controversial, upset the apple cart and are a little too ‘calm’, for want of a better word. I want to see this roster play angry. Get their edge back.
Here’s one to ponder; Henrik Lundqvist needs to be much better. His numbers aren’t bad but he’s not making the big saves regularly enough. His numbers are almost as a result of the Rangers playing minimalistic hockey; they don’t give too much up while not producing much themselves. Luckily, we know Lundqvist can be much better. If he rebounds (when he rebounds) I still think this team makes the playoffs riding his form.
- What is Derek Stepan’s true upside; can he be a number one center?
- Will Brad Richards rebound this year and if not; does that coincide with missing the playoffs?
- Who will be an Ex Ranger first: Gaborik or Richards?
- Will any Ranger be nominated for a trophy this year?
- If you had to trade one who would it be: Marc Staal or Dan Girardi?
- Do you think Zuccarello Fasth or Lindberg can make a difference to this year’s team?
I am literally praying for a win tonight. Later Skaters.