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The Rangers must rediscover their identity


The Rangers must rediscover their identity

When: Saturday, October 29, 3:00 p.m.

Opponent: vs. Ottawa (5-5-0)

TV: MSG

Despite their respectable 3-3-2 record, there’s a sense of urgency surrounding the Rangers.  The team may be in decent shape in the standings, but anyone who’s seen them play this season knows that the 2011-2012 Blueshirts haven’t come close to playing a solid game of hockey yet.

Too many penalties and too little offense have plagued New York since the first game of the season, but in general this team has lacked the fire and commitment that made it one of the toughest teams to play against in the National Hockey League a year ago.

Entering the season one of the biggest challenges for Coach John Tortorella was thought to be how he could motivate the Rangers to play that same blue-collar style while infusing more talent this season.

So far the relentless work ethic that was exhibited almost every game last season has been absent, as has the added skill.

Maybe Saturday will finally be the day the Rangers put a whole game together.

There have been plenty of reasonable explanations for the early-season struggles.  Injuries, a daunting road trip and the circus surrounding the re-opening of Madison Square Garden were all distractions and created difficult opening-season circumstances.

The team doesn’t have No. 1 defenseman Marc Staal back yet, but everything else is now behind it.

New York’s play has been frustrating, but Thursday’s first period against Toronto showed that this team can play at a higher level; it just hasn’t come close to sustaining that level yet..

Coach John Tortorella continues to tinker with lines in an effort to forge some chemistry and will deploy some interesting combinations on Saturday.  Although they may seem puzzling on paper, nothing else has really worked.

Marian Gaborik has been the one Rangers’ forward that has brought his A-game since day one, so Tortorella is seeking a way to jumpstart other players.  Perhaps Brad Richards will be able to provide Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan with a spark.

The good news for the Blueshirts is that Ottawa has already given up 39 goals this year, by far the most in the league.   The Senators are also 29th on the penalty kill, but they aren’t a patsy. 

Ottawa has won four games in a row, but if the Rangers can put together an effort reminiscent of the 2010-2011 campaign, they may finally bust out.

 

- Mike Rupp and Michael Del Zotto sat out practice on Friday.  Del Zotto has a hip flexor but should play on Saturday while Rupp continues to nurse a “cranky” knee.

- Lines used at practice on Friday:

Wojtek Wolski/Erik Christensen/Marian Gaborik

Brandon Dubinsky/Brad Richards/Ryan Callahan

Ruslan Fedotenko/Brian Boyle/Brandon Prust

Derek Stepan/Artem Anisimov/Kris Newbury

 

 

2011-2012 season:

Eastern Conference Preview > (10/3/11)

Western Conference Preview > (10/4/11)

Experts Predict Where The Rangers Will Finish > (10/5/11)

NY Rangers Season Preview > (10/5/11)

Rangers Claim Jeff Woywitka Off Waivers > (10/6/11) 

“The King” Vs. The Kings In Season-Opener > (10/7/11)

Penalties Doom Rangers In OT Loss To Kings > (10/7/11)

To Duck Anaheim, Rangers Must Stay Out Of The Box > (10/7/11)

No Offense, But Rangers Pick Up Another Point > (10/8/11)

Tim Erixon Will Stick Around For The Time Being > (10/9/11)

Lessons Learned: Two Games In The Books > (10/10/11)

Time To Move Stepan To First-Line Left Wing > (10/10/11)

Rangers Show Early Improvement With Faceoffs > (10/11/11)

Missing Vinny > (10/13/11)

Rangers Must Find A Way With Patchwork Defense > (10/14/11)

New Top Line Shows Promise, But Rangers Have No Answer For John Tavares > (10/15/11)

Stats To Chew On > (10/17/11)

Zuccarello's Future On Broadway In Doubt > (10/17/11)

Rangers Must Slow The Sedins, Score Some Goals > (10/18/11)

Henrik Lundqvist Beats The Canucks, With A Little Help In The Third Period > (10/19/11)

All Is Not Well In Ranger-land > (10/19/11)

Another Slow Start Might Not Cut It Against Calgary > (10/19/11)

McDonagh Scores Winner With Just Over 1 Second Remaining In OT >(10/20/11)

The Path To New York Is Clearing Quickly For Carl Hagelin And Ryan Bourque > (10/21/11)

Rangers Seek Third Win In A Row Against Renney’s Crew > (10/22/11)

Crisis Averted As Rangers Are Shutout By Edmonton > (10/23/11)

Whirlwind Road Trip Concludes In Winnipeg On Monday > (10/24/11)

Stats To Chew On > (10/24/11)

Two Parts Of The Recipe Change And New York Wins > (10/24/11)

Lessons Learned: Seven Games In The Books > (10/26/11)

Home Cookin’ At Last > (10/27/11)

Without Great Goaltending, New York Had No Chance > (10/27/11)

60 Minutes > (10/28/11)

 

Click here for our full 2011-2012 Season Archive >

Follow us on Twitter (@NYRBlueBulletin and @kevinbaumer) and on Facebook

 

 

Posted by Kevin Baumer | October 29, 2011 at 02:13 am
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New York Rangers VS New Jersey Devils
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

  1 2 3 OT F
Rangers 1 0 2 1 4
Devils 1 1 1 0 3








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