- Rangers Report - http://rangers.lohudblogs.com -

More review of the 0-2 start

Posted By Carp On January 22, 2013 @ 2:41 am In Hockey,Lockout,New York Rangers,NHL | 447 Comments

[1]

I certainly don’t want to make a big deal about the feisty edge the Rangers might have lost over the off-season. As I said earlier, a few times, I think the Rangers are going to be a little different this year. More speed. More high-end skill.

And as much as they want to remain who they were, they are reinventing themselves to a degree right now. That’s not why they lost either game. They lost both games because they weren’t good enough and didn’t initiate enough and didn’t defend very well, and lost discipline at times.

That reinvention process, though, might be part of the equation, and I’m not saying it is. I’m saying it might be. We’ll see.

Because although they lost a bunch of third- and fourth-line types (and a couple of guys who were solid second-liners when they were playing well), they lost some of that grittiness, some of that willingness, nastiness. They don’t have many guys on the top three lines who will drop the gloves anymore, and I can remember many, many games last year when the top three lines fought a lot.

Fighting aside, in Brandon Dubinsky, Brandon Prust, Ruslan Fedotenko, even Artem Anisimov and, yes, John Mitchell, what they lost were five guys who were good along the walls, good at getting the puck in deep and keeping it there, working the opposition defensemen, wearing them down. Even when those five weren’t doing much else at all, they were good along the walls.

That was a big part of the Rangers game, their identity, as much as the hits, the fights and the blocked shots.

Again, I’m not saying that Taylor Pyatt, Jeff Halpern and even Arron Asham can’t do those things. And I certainly suspect Rick Nash can and will, and Chris Kreider can and better. And Brian Boyle and Ryan Callahan just have to. But the other guys, do, too—Carl Hagelin, Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Derek Stepan. All of them.

So far, that hasn’t been much of a part of their game.

Of course, they have to be better defensively. They must.

As for the 0-2 start in more general terms: a lot of teams are off to slow starts. They’re all in the same boat re: short camps, no preseason games. But a lot of good to decent teams are off to bad starts. It happens. All the time.

Also yesterday there was the floating stat that no team had lost three in a row in the last 48-game season (1995) and still made the playoffs. Except that plenty of teams did, including the Rangers, who lost three in a row during their 1-4 start, and later lost seven in a row. Then the stat said no team began the season 0-3 and made the playoffs. Except that Philly started 0-3 and reached the Eastern Conference finals.

So let’s all climb back off the ledge for a couple more days.

************************************************

We’ll find out today if Chris Kreider was injured on that late-game, clean, high hit by Brooks Orpik. It appeared the kid ’s haw was aching. The team didn’t skate yesterday, so there was no update. They practice at 11 today, so keep your eyes on the widget right over there——————> for the latest.

************************************************
We got the obligatory comment yesterday that John Tortorella will be fired by the end of next month. Which was one of the funniest things ever written on these pages.

*************************************************

Wondering what happened after the Rangers scored the 5-on-3 goal the other night and the player (Brandon Sutter) who committed the second penalty, came out of the box?

Here’s my understanding.

Because Sutter’s penalty was the little-known faceoff violation infraction, the actual penalty time was the same as first (Despres) penalty. The official clock was reset. The 5-on-3 was actually 2:00, not 1:57 as showed on the scoreboard and the TV clocks. Technically, they happened at the same time. I imagine that Pittsburgh then had a choice which player came out of the box. It was explained to John Tortorella and he was fine with it.

*************************************************

Finally, we’re planning a Live Chat between the Boston and Philadelphia back-to-backs, Thursday at noon. Be there. And follow me on Twitter: @RangersReport.

 


Article printed from Rangers Report: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com

URL to article: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/2013/01/22/more-review-of-the-0-2-start/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://rangers.lohudblogs.com/files/2013/01/Stepan-vs.-Crosby2.jpg