Originally posted on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 10/25/11

There is no place like home.

That is something that the New York Rangers are probably saying to themselves after completing a season opening 7-game road trip that began in Sweden and ended in Winnipeg.
The Rangers' lengthy road trip started on Sept. 27 when they toured Europe during the pre-season. In a span of 10 days, the Rangers played in four different countries and five different cities, including their Premiere Series games in Sweden. Following a jaunt to Western Canada where they played four games, the Rangers have traveled over 16,000 miles (approximately) in less than a month.

Going into Thursday night's home opener at the renovated Madison Square Garden against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Blueshirts are 3-2-2. Considering the way the team has played, they along with its fans should take that with open arms.

Through the team's first seven games, the team has been extremely inconsistent offensively. The team has scored just 14 goals, which is obviously two goals per game.

For a team that has the likes of Brad Richards, Marian Gaborik, Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan, that is alarming. While Gaborik has already potted 4 goals and Richards has picked up 5 points, the silence from the rest of the offense is a glaring problem. It seems like the rest of the offense is still trying to find its game.

Defensively, the team has been good (but not great). The club has allowed just 14 goals in their first 7 games. Defenseman Dan Girardi is logging a ton of minutes and Ryan McDonagh has looked like injured Rangers' defenseman Marc Staal out on the ice.

With that said, it has been the team's goaltending that has been the steady force for the Blueshirts. Starting goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has been absolutely terrific in going 2-2-2 with a 1.82 goals against average, a .942 save percentage and one shutout. Additionally, Martin Biron was outstanding in his team's 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets.

On Thursday night, the Blueshirts will be coming home to cheers and high expectations from their loyal fans. It will be up to the Blueshirts to reward them this season.

Photo credit: Getty Images
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