Originally posted on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 10/26/11

Last weekend I took part in a Rangers blogger roundtable discussion with my fellow bloggers, analyzing the first five games of the New York Rangers 2011-12 season. Another one of these will be posted after every five games of the Blueshirts' season, so look for another next week.  The roundtable was done in Q and A form, so below are some of the questions along with my answers. Keep in mind, though, that I did this prior to Saturday's loss to the Oilers and Monday's win over Winnipeg. 

Q: Who was the best Ranger over the last 5 games? Who was the worst?

Nick: I think you would be crazy not to say that Henrik Lundqvist has been the best Ranger through the first five games of the season. He is the only reason why they have any points in the standings right now and has stood on his head in each and every game. You'd think it is impossible for a goalie of his caliber to improve even further, but he has done just that this season. He is more aggressive in the crease, his glove has looked much sharper and he has gotten off to a much better start than he did a year ago. Lundqvist has been the best Ranger by far and away to this point - there really is no competition. Honorable mentions would have to go to Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh and Marian Gaborik. 

Q: Which was the Best game? Worst game?

Nick: In terms of 60-minute efforts, I would have to say that the best game for the Rangers so far was their 3-2 win over the Flames in overtime. They played well defensively and maintained a certain effort for the entire game. That was their first full 60-minute performance. Their worst game, on the other hand, had to be the 2-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks, also in overtime. The only reason they got a point in that game was because of Henrik Lundqvist. They looked fatigued and had nothing in the tank to give. 

Q: What are the Rangers doing right/wrong?

Nick: I think their biggest strength to this point has been their penalty-kill. They've spent so much time in the box in the first five games that a strong PK was required in order to prevent a blowout. Thankfully they've killed off nearly all of them to keep the games close. And obviously their biggest weakness would then be their discipline. They need to stop taking so many penalties and give themselves more time to work at even strength. 

Q: Which game in the next segment will be the toughest?

Nick: To be honest, I think their toughest game will be the home opener against the Maple Leafs. Why? Because there will be so much pressure on the team to win that night with the crowd amped up in the newly renovated MSG and since it's week three of the season and they haven't plead at home yet.

Q: Should the slow start be attributed to the trip to Europe or is it just the team?

Nick: Both. The trip to Europe definitely had a negative effect on them and by the time the trip was over they didn't even want to be there anymore. At the same time, they've struggled defensively and on the powerplay, which is a team problem. And like I said above, they need to stay out of the penalty box. 

Q: Who sits when Sauer returns?

Nick: Probably Jeff Woywitka. Erixon has played too well to take him out and Del Zotto should get the opportunity over Woywitka. The real question is what happens when Marc Staal returns?

To read the full interview, along with what the other bloggers had to say, head over to 5-Hole Blog. In a few weeks we will be hosting the roundtable here on The Rangers Tribune!
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jimmy Butler rips Marcus Smart in post-Game 4 interview: ‘He’s not about that life’

New NHL record set as 18 first round games require overtime

Fred Hoiberg rips officials, says Isaiah Thomas allowed to carry ball

Derrick Rose hangs out with Bulls owner at playoff game

WATCH: Robin Lopez unties, then reties Jae Crowder’s shoe in strange sequence

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tyronn Lue drops hilarious quote about LeBron James’ first-round success

Clarke MacArthur scores Senators’ series-winning goal after miraculous return to ice

Adam Schefter reminds everyone Jimmy Garoppolo is not getting traded

Russell Westbrook confronts reporter for question about Thunder bench

WATCH: Rockets bench laughs as Andre Roberson misses free throw

Steve Kerr does not rule out missing remainder of playoffs

Getaway Day: Wild, wacky and weird week in MLB (and that's just the injuries)

11 names you need to know for the NFL Draft

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Best of Yardbarker: David Fizdale and the Grizzlies won't go down quietly

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

25 times Mother Nature disrupted sports

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

Box Score 4/20: When Westbrook isn't enough

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

White House championship visits over the years

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Getaway Day: Wild, wacky and weird week in MLB

11 names you need to know for the NFL Draft

The 'It's not good to play the King' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Home run hitters are heating up

The 'Even the Browns can't mess this one up' quiz

In some ways, Dan Rooney was just another NFL owner

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The '♫Happy Birthday Simpsons. Simpsons, it's your birthday♫' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: David Fizdale calls B.S.

Kris Bryant can become the next Derek Jeter — and more

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker