Slow start to season has blueshirts feeling a little blue
The New York Rangers have been, what you would call, under-performing as of late. Their very dismal 2-6-2 record in the Metropolitan finds them seeded last in their division and in a comfortable seat as second to last in the Eastern Conference as well, just one lousy point ahead of another disappointment, the Montreal Canadiens.
As much as it hurts me to say, the Rangers are performing just like their cross town comrade, the New York Giants. Enjoy the hype train while it whistles heavy before game number 1 of the season, because I can be sure that Alain Vigneault and the rest of that coaching staff is having a tough time trying to figure out what has happened to the first 8th of the Rangers season.
I would like to believe I am a student of the game, having played AAA, in the Juniors circuit, as well as at the Collegiate ranks. I can honestly say that I knew this day would come for the Blue Shirts. The Rangers very defensive style of hockey forces on crease out strategies, with the highest effort on defensive styles of hockey. This is a brand of hockey that every youth, high school and college player has heard throughout their years, and holds true with every sport. Offense wins game, defense wins championships. The Rangers are built to hoist Lord Stanley, but I believe they have placed their eggs too heavily in a basket with a hole in the bottom.
We all knew this day would come, but I regret to inform the public that Henrik Lundqvist is no longer “The King” as his pads and helmet would suggest. Hey, he might have a fantastic bounce back after the first quarter of the season to prove me terribly wrong, but I don’t see that happening. So let’s say for the sake of argument that I am right, and that Hank has peaked. The Rangers are flirting with a slippery slope. Yes, Lundqvist does have a .900 save % and a 3.11 GAA, which are not TERRIBLE numbers, but they are not the ones you would expect out of a king. While he’s been a little under the weather as of late, Ondrej Pavelec hasn’t exactly “filled in nicely,” so that doesn’t help.
I believe the Rangers issue here is their goaltending, but not what you think I’m saying. I mean, c’mon, look at the roster. They are stacked in every position, especially after getting rid of the traffic cone that lost its way from the Merritt Parkway, Dan Girardi. The Rangers are used to playing with a sort of comfortability that Hank will save the day. What happens when he doesn’t? You get a 2-6-2 record.
I am in no way, and by no means saying that a measly six points in the Metro is at all attributable to Hank, since all he’s able to do is stop pucks, not score, but these are not the Rangers that fans have become accustom to in the last 6-7 years. The Rangers are built to win, and win now is basically their option before they become yet another “rebuilding” program in the near future. So, for the sake of Rangers fans everywhere, Hank, Alain, please, get some numbers in that first column.