Originally written on Blue Seat Blogs  |  Last updated 10/17/14
Rick Nash needs to find twine again. Starting tonight. It’s a game day. It’s the Florida Panthers who always seem to trip up our boys in blue. If ever there was an occasion not to play down to the level of your opponents it’s tonight. Let’s jump into the musings. Rick Nash needs to be better. The past few games – starting with a few turnovers against the Islanders – he hasn’t been that dominant forward we’ve enjoyed for the most part of the year. This is the time of the year you need your best to be your best. That said, I think we see a strong game from Nash tonight. For those of you that haven’t seen it, this is a nice little article on Lundqvist, on TSN. Just shows even without being a particularly old goalie, how much respect Lundqvist carries and what kind of impact he’s had on the league. There are probably many league goalies that look to The King for tips. This time of the year, it’s about results. These next three games are in my view not just must wins but should wins. A team that needs points with the Rangers’ talent level should be maxing points in this next three. In fact, if the Rangers play to their talent level (a big ask this season for sure) there’s no reason they cannot win at least five of six. Big ask, but doable. As I read Andrew Gross’ comments on Marc Staal the other day I felt like his career was in jeopardy. Why? He’s adjusting his eye sight and depth perception and still has blurriness. I mean, at an elite level your eye sight shouldn’t need readjusting as you go along. I can just imagine the possible mistakes in games that cold materialize. Of course, I may have been overreacting but I still feel Marc Staal is anything but certain to return to his old level at this stage. A friend asked me at the deadline; ‘who are these guys that the Rangers got for Gaborik?’ I told him I was happy with the return but particularly excited to get a guy with John Moore’s upside. He’s starting to show what he could achieve. Tortorella’s seen some McDonagh in him. You have two of those guys in the same top six and just wow. Get Staal back and this top six is young and absolutely stacked. Under-appreciated: now he’s fit, Arron Asham is showing that he could be a nice compliment in the bottom six, beyond this year. If the trade deadlines additions show anything it’s that JT Miller and (despite his call up) Chris Kreider belong in the AHL this year. That’s not a long term concern; they’re just not ready for full time big league play. If the Rangers were looking for more scoring when Brian Boyle went down I would have given Christian Thomas another shot. Kreider should stay in the AHL. If Kreider has come back up to play Boyle’s bottom six minutes it’s just a bad call. Thirty one skaters have suited up for the Rangers this season (correct me if I’m wrong). That emphasizes the lack of consistency the club have had this year. Question Time: 7 games in; would you retain Ryan Clowe and for how much? How many points would you be happy with from the next four games? With an average of 16 minutes/game is Zuccarello producing enough? Would you start Marty Biron again this season? Where do you see Carl Hagelin’s long term spot in the line-up? That’s it folks. I’m more nervous about a home game with the Panthers than I should be. Given the criticism from the Flyers game we should expect to see a strong feisty start from the Rangers. This is the (latest) biggest game of the season tonight folks. Later skaters Tweet
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