What Needs to Change for New York Rangers After Opening Loss
Added by Ryan Heine on October 7, 2013.
Anyone who watched Thursday’s season opener in Phoenix knows that the Blueshirts put together an ugly performance. Their opponents get no easier the next few nights, as they face the Kings in Los Angeles tonight and the Sharks tomorrow night. Let’s take a look at what happened against the Coyotes and what we should expect the new few nights.
Ryan Callahan will make his season debut tonight on the third line, which will undoubtedly be a big boost. The team once again lacked jump and proved that they are not the toughest team in the league.
Brad Richards was one of the better Rangers on Thursday. Having him play on the first line with Nash and Stepan is smart, as it should help him find his game early on. If Richards does not return to his form of two or three years ago, the Rangers are in trouble. The Rangers need this top line to produce, especially in these first few games as the rest of the lines get sorted out.
Marc Staal looked like Marc Staal. He scored a beautiful goal and was terrific defensively. He may once again be regarded as the best Rangers defenseman sooner rather than later.
Derick Brassard looked lost. He struggled to find his game and played nowhere near how he played near the end of last season. Hopefully he can return to the form that made him one of the most dangerous centers in the league in the playoffs last season.
Rick Nash struggled mightily. Opposing defenses are clearly focusing on him and that is giving him issues. Have to give him credit for stepping up and fighting after Stepan was laid out. However, do not like that it had to be him to step up. Again, brings into question the toughness on this team.
Henrik Lundqvist has not been great. Cannot blame him at all for the loss, but did not stand on his head as we are so used to him doing. I am not the least bit concerned, though.
Why is Taylor Pyatt on this team? Seriously, what does he add? I like the guy and think he works his tail off, but he just is not a very good hockey player. I would much rather have Kreider or Miller playing in his spot.
Of course, it was only one game. But after an ugly preseason and a lackluster first game, I cannot help but to worry a bit. One win in the next two games would certainly be a relief.