The Rangers had some positives in their 3 - 2 season opening loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Let's examine some observations:
1. Henrik Lundqvist looked solid in his first outing.
FACT: Lundqvist may not have been in tip-top shape, but he was very comfortable and well positioned in making more than 20 saves last night. Head Coach John Tortorella's system did allow for more odd-man rushes, but Lundqvist was generally up to the task. Whether or not these chances will continue to go in the Rangers favor remains to be seen.
2. The Rangers can compete with the Penguins.
FICTION:Pittsburgh is still far deeper than the Rangers at this point. If players such as Artem Anisimov and Envir Lisin are able to contribute consistently, than the Rangers will be able to compete. Right now they can skate with the Penguins, but as illustrated last night, it's not a consistent threat as it is with Pittsburgh.
3. Marian Gaborik can be a point-per-game player.
FACT: His statistics back up this statement, but as he has shown in the final preseason games as well as in last night's opener, he has the scorer's knack. As Tortorella said, "the puck follows those guys." Gaborik has been in the right place at the right time and has shown an uncanny ability to lose the defenders. If he stays healthy, he will put up a lot of points for the Rangers.
4. The Rangers have good leadership on defense.
FICTION: Michal Rozsival struggled last night and while Wade Redden played better, he still looks like a shell of his old self. With recently un-signed Alexei Semenov heading back to Russia, the Rangers are relying heavily on lesser experienced Marc Staal and Dan Girardi leading the pack. Can the Rangers afford to lack a true veteran leader? My guess is another move will be made shortly.
Overall, one game is not the end of the world and the Rangers did show some competitiveness in their game. However, while certain areas (like the power play) seemed to be improved, they are still far from cohesive. We'll see how tonight goes against Ottawa.