I’ve never been a big believer in the whole “you get to start over at New Years” philosophy, mostly because it still feels like the middle of the year.
In high school, you still had the same teachers. In college, you still had the same roommate who left five-day-old cans of Natty Light stuck to the coffee table and took 45-minute showers that robbed the rest of us of hot water (OK, maybe that was just my roommate).
The point is, New Years usually doesn’t mean much, especially in the middle of a hockey season. But today, with the Rangers playing their first game in five days, and with just 43 games remaining in the regular season, feels like a new beginning.
The best thing you can say about this team right now is that it has put itself in a favorable position heading into the season’s second half, which is a heck of a lot better than where the Rangers stood at this point the previous two seasons. The worst you can say is that there’s still plenty of time for their myriad shortcomings to be exposed.
The next three games—against the Caps tonight and then Pittsburgh and Montreal Monday and Wednesday—should tell us something.
Some other thoughts:
One quibble: despite his goal-scoring drought, I think Brandon Dubinsky has played better than a C-minus rating. We’re still talking about a second-year player who is fifth on the team in points.