Found October 17, 2013 on
Blue Seat Blogs:
(Bill Boyce, AP)
No doubt about it, the Rangers have been incredibly underwhelming to start the season. They were outplayed in Phoenix, dismantled by Anaheim and San Jose, and bested by St. Louis (although they played well in that game). If not for strong showings in Los Angeles last week and Washington last night, we would be talking about the winless Rangers, not the 2-4 Rangers. The blame doesn’t sit squarely on one player, as almost everyone has been under performing.
In fact, it is easier to name those that are playing well. Brad Richards is playing well. Brian Boyle is playing well, although he gets a lot of unnecessary hate because of the name on the back of his jersey. Anton Stralman hasn’t been bad, although he’s facing awful competition so far. Ryan Callahan has been his usual self. Yup, that’s about it.
So what’s the problem?
You can blame the preseason schedule, which saw them start in Banff, play four games in five nights, and carry over 30 players until the end of the preseason. They never had a chance to gel as a team because they had so many players there.
You can blame injuries. Cally missed a game, Carl Hagelin is still out, Rick Nash is out for the foreseeable future.
You can blame new systems. Alain Vigneault has the club switching forechecking styles, neutral zone styles, and defensive zone styles. They say it takes a month to get used to new systems, but that’s with a full squad. The Rangers have had a full squad for two weeks. Plus, because of that ridiculous clause in the new CBA, they weren’t able to practice after the demolition in San Jose because teams are required to have a day off when they play three in four nights.
But in the end, it’s on the players. They aren’t making systems mistakes. They aren’t making mistakes due to inferior players in the lineup. They aren’t making mistakes because of fatigue. They are making Hockey 101 mistakes.
Against Anaheim, there were no less than three breakdowns that led directly to Duck goals. In San Jose, there were five breakdowns that led to goals. It got so bad against San Jose, that the goal breakdowns consisted of two words: “Wide. Open.” In Phoenix, three breakdowns. St. Louis: another pair.
Now the term breakdown is used loosely here. A system breakdown for the Rangers would be one too many guys overloading the strong side. A system breakdown would be half the team collapsing and half the team overloading, leaving a guy wide open. Those are systems breakdowns. The Rangers are having head-on-a-swivel breakdowns. That’s Hockey 101.
Think about it: The first thing you’re taught in hockey is don’t clear the puck up the middle. The second thing is always look around, and see where everyone else is. The Rangers aren’t doing this. At least half of the goals against this season could have been prevented by just looking around. By knowing that the man cutting to the net is the defenseman’s responsibility, by simply getting a stick in a passing lane. These aren’t mistakes that the Rangers should be making.
The good thing is that these are mistakes that will resolve themselves as the Rangers adjust to AV’s systems. That may sound like a contradiction, but Suit pointed out that these mistakes the Rangers are making are because they are taking an extra second to make sure they are covering the right guy. That extra second taken (along with not covering the right guy in some cases) is costing them dearly.
I specifically held off on writing this until after the Rangers played a complete game. Why? Because there are still growing pains to go through. Games like last night will be what the Rangers eventually become, and hopefully last night is them turning the corner. As for now, I’m expecting a few more hiccups. But even then, we’ve seen what they will be, and it’s only a matter of time until they play like they did last night on a consistent basis.
BEST OF MAXIM
Dan Girardi has been poor so far.
Dan Girardi has had an atrocious start to the season but yet is one of the key players the Rangers will have to rely on to turn their difficult start around. While plus/minus is not a particularly accurate statistic, his minus 7 rating is a bad indicator and Girardi’s decision making, positioning and overall game thus far have been far from his...
Definition of essential: Ryan Callahan
It’s always easier to write the Musings after a win. Last night was a huge relief to many Rangers fans so let’s talk about it.
John Moore: If Moore continues with performances like against the Capitals then he could quickly go past Mike Del Zotto in the pecking order. A quick release, a good overall game and solid defensively, Moore still...
Dan Rosen at NHL.com had an interesting nugget of information this morning, noting that “Brian Leetch was prepared to move back to New York to join Mark Messier on the New York Rangers’ coaching staff” should Messier win the head coaching job in New York. Leetch would have been one of Messier’s assistants, likely –my assumption– working with the defensemen and the...
The injury bug continues to haunt the Rangers, as the club has announced that Ryan Callahan is out 3-4 weeks with a broken thumb. This is certainly terrible news for a team that appeared to be finding its groove under AV. It is assumed Cally will be placed on LTIR. Darroll Powe has been recalled from Hartford to take Cally’s spot on the roster.
Goaltender Jason Missiaen has also...
Henrik Lundqvist earned his 46th NHL shutout, Brad Richards assisted on two New York goals less than two minutes apart in the second period, and the Rangers beat familiar postseason foe Washington 2-0 on Wednesday night to end a three-game losing streak.
Richards helped set up goals by Ryan Callahan and John Moore, and Lundqvist made the limited offense hold up in a 22-save performance...
With power forward Rick Nash already sidelined with post-concussion syndrome and Carl Hagelin still recovering from postseason shoulder injury, the New York Rangers could scarcely afford to lose Ryan Callahan to a broken thumb.But they did. The feisty team captain suffered the injury blocking a shot during a 2-0 victory over the Capitals. He figures to miss the next three to four...
Playoffs or regular season, New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist has been absolutely perfect the past three times he has faced Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.
So what if the Rangers were struggling under first-year coach Alain Vigneault? Lundqvist felt good about his team's chances Wednesday night, then backed that up with his 46th NHL shutout in New York'...
Greg Fiume/Getty Images
As we all know by now, the Rangers have gotten off to a slow start this season. One of the more surprising factors in Blueshirt’s early malaise was the rather pedestrian play of all-world goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. It wasn’t necessarily that he was playing outright badly, just far below the lofty expectations that the fan base has for #30. After...
It was announced on Thursday night that Ryan Callahan would miss 3 to 4 weeks since he broke his thumb in the team’s 2-0 victory in Washington. Callahan was one of the Rangers best forwards since he’s been back andContinue readingThe post Ryan Callahan to Miss 3-4 Weeks appeared first on NYR Center Ice Report.
WASHINGTON — Nothing has gone the way of the New York Rangers this season. Through the teams first five games nothing was going their way nor were they playing up to their full potential. With guys like Brad Richards, Ryan Callahan, Henrik Lundqvist, and Rick Nash on paper this should be a tough team. Wednesday […]
Jason Brough of NBCSports reports that New York Rangers captain, Ryan Callahan, will miss at least three to four weeks with a broken thumb.Callahan suffered the injury last game against the Washington Capitals. The Blueshirts are already without forward Rick Nash, who took an elbow to the head last Tuesday against the San Jose Sharks and Carl Hagelin who is rehabbing his shoulder...
Derek Stepan is apparently no worse for the wear after taking a seemingly inadvertent shot to the head from the Capitals’ Troy Brouwer in a neutral zone collision at 0:51 of the third period that sent the Blueshirts’ center to the room for approximately 10 minutes.
“I feel fine. It happens it’s part of the game” Stepan who took a regular shift after returning to the ice...
Now that’s more like it! It’s always a little easier to sit down in front of the lap top to write the morning after a Rangers win. In their first contest played in the Eastern Time Zone and against a Metro Division rival, the Rangers shut out frequent postseason antagonist Washington 2 – 0. Time […]
Let’s face it. Before last night, we all could agree that the Rangers have had a pretty brutal road trip. Granted, the trip included tough games against some supercharged Western Conference teams, but it was still no excuse for scoring only nine goals and letting in an abominable 25 in just four games. Then, last […]