How far will the Rangers get this season?

Searching for answers in Chi-Town
Can Rangers put it all together against the Blackhawks?

Photo by Dave Perlmutter

Photo by Dave Perlmutter

When Captain Chris Drury uncharacteristically smashed his stick on the boards during the Rangers 3 - 1 loss against Detroit, the sentiment was clear: the Rangers are close, but need to put it all together.

Throughout the season, New York has had flashes of a cohesive competitive team, but aside from a few October games, have not been able bring that complete effort through the lineup for a complete 60 minutes.

From the top down, the Rangers need to find consistency from their entire roster to get back in the win column.

For the better part of the season, Vinny Prospal and Marian Gaborik carried the offense as the lone goal scorers. Both have tailed off a bit in the past few games due to the opposition giving them less time and space and perhaps some fatigue with the near 30-minutes a game each plays.

But as they have begun getting some goal support, Gaborik and Prospal have to get back on the horse.

Speaking of goal support, it's no revelation that the Rangers second and third lines have been abysmal in the goal scoring department this season. Until recently, Chris Higgins, Chris Drury, Ryan Callahan and co. have been dormant and even with improved efforts, they were unable to capitalize on any offensive opportunities.

But having had some success in recent games, they need to continue and push that envelope by bringing a smart two-way game as well as chipping in some goals.

A major part of this turnaround amidst the middle lines has been the play of Sean Avery, arguably the best player the past two weeks.

Despite being a bit stifled from his game the early part of the season, Avery has gotten into his groove, playing the role of the smart agitator, but also playing physically along the boards and getting pucks to the net.

If Avery can play his style without spending too much time in the box, he will be a major asset to the Rangers success.

And once the fourth line establishes some semblance of a working combination, they too will need to be more consistently physical. The addition of Erik Christensen only throws another wrench into those works.

And the defense is just as culpable.

Rookies Mike Del Zotto and Matt Gilroy have settled a bit offensively, but haven't given up much on the defensive end. If they can regain that confidence from earlier in the season, both the power play and even strength will benefit.

With Marc Staal and Dan Girardi, absence may make the heart grow fonder. Having finally been separated a couple games back, each has had to be more responsible without the other to rely on. At some point, most likely when Wade Redden returns, expect those two back together.

And the embattled Michal Rozsival has looked a bit better. His defensive zone play still needs workas does his play along the boards, but he at least looks like he wants to play, which is a good sign.

As for goaltending, there isn't much more that needs to be said about "The King" other than he needs to be better.

So can the Rangers put the pieces together and get back to their early season winning ways?

Wednesday will be a starting point.


Mark Messier to be named GM of Team Canada's 2010 World Championship team

Here's the story on TSN:

Sources tell TSN that Hockey Canada will name Mark Messier as its general manager for the 2010 World Hockey Championship.

The 2010 event runs from May 7 to May 23 in Germany.

Messier, who is also the New York Rangers' special assistant to general manager Glen Sather, is said to be "very excited" about his first international experience as a manager.

Canada has settled for silver in its last two World Championships, falling to Russia in the Gold medal finals in 2008 and 2009.


Posted by Dan Akeson | December 8, 2009 at 09:53 am

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New York Rangers VS Chicago Blackhawks
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

  1 2 3 OT F
Rangers 3 0 0 - 3
Blackhawks 1 1 0 - 2

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