Found October 28, 2013 on Blue Seat Blogs:
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Home. Finally. The month was October. The year was 2011. The Rangers kicked off the season 3-6, and every day on this blog many begged for the return of Sean Avery and the firing of John Tortorella. Dave, Chris, and I turned the page on Avery and preached patience with Torts and his systems. The Rangers then went on a 12-2 surge and eventually the Eastern Conference finals, their first appearance beyond round 2 since 1997. Avery finished the season working in advertising. Fast forward two years later and the Rangers are standing on the edge of October with a 3-6 record. Though Avery is long gone, and his name only pops up when photos of him with Housewives star Andy Cohen circulate the internet, the complaints from this fan base are essentially the same. Too many fingers are being pointed at AV this early in the process. For us, the message remains the same as it did in 2011. Be patient. Over the course of the next 10-15 games we’re going to get a better look at what this team can do. Nine of the next twelve games are at home, with one of those road games taking place at Nassau. I’m not expecting another run like they did in 2011, but seven or eight wins doesn’t seem too greedy. Of course, in order to get those wins a few things have to happen. First, the Rangers need to find some consistency. Defensively they have looked better and the team is starting to get how to play the overload in the defensive zone, which is a complex system mixing zone and man-on-man defense. However, their offense is still a little sloppy. Several key players are still struggling with when to dump the puck vs. when to enter the zone with speed, when to try to make an east/west play vs. a simple play on net, etc. This is still going to take some time to get sorted, especially with Callahan, Hagelin, and Nash out. Hopefully, Brass, Stepan, and Pouliot continue to step their games up a notch. I’m looking at those three specifically since they all have ample NHL experience and are being used in offensive roles. The Rangers also need a little more accountability and they have to stay out of the box. The offensive zone penalties in Detroit almost wrecked a very good night for the Blueshirts. Right now they’re 2nd in the league in PIM/G. That’s not a good place to be if they want to do some damage this month. Pyatt and Dorsett have both taken some dumb penalties in these first nine games and have to play smarter moving forward. Tonight the Rangers can put a lot of fans at ease with a consistent effort, but it wont be easy. Despite being back at home, it’s still going to be a battle. I feel like the officiating is always sub-par when Montreal comes to town. I’m not a conspiracy theorist at all, but there have been too many games against this team where I’ve left the building scratching my head. Personally, I blame my old man who planted that idea in my head when I was younger and I’ve been unable to shake it since. I don’t know how everyone else feels, but do yourself a favor and pay attention to who the refs are tonight. If we get Dan O’Halloran or Stephen Walkom it could be a tough evening. Still, if the Rangers can continue to battle hard, keep it simple things, and stay out of the box, we can get this thing turned around in no time. Tweet
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