Found February 02, 2013 on Sports Blog Net:
Can everybody just take a deep breath? Yes, 3-4-0 is not the way you want to start a season, but give the Rangers some slack. They have had to begin their year with six games against three teams in the top-five in the Eastern Conference. New York played the Bruins, Flyers and Penguins twice with a contest versus the Maple Leafs in between. Now, this isn’t to say that the Blueshirts don’t have areas to work on. Their offense has been bordering on putrid. The power play has been absolutely abysmal and they can't score five-on-five either. This season, with the man advantage, the Rangers are 3-28. That’s 10.7% and tied for 26th in the league. For some perspective, last season, a 10.7% conversion rate would have been 2.8% worse than the last in the league. Now that’s horrible. New York has also averaged 2.29 goals per game; 22nd in the league. Last season the L.A. Kings also tallied 2.29 goals per game. They were 29th overall. [caption id="attachment_320" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The offense needs to, and will get going.[/caption] With the shortened season, there will be no inter-conference games in the NHL and teams will play everyone in their division at least four times. That is bad news for the Blueshirts because three of the four teams in their division that they will be facing, made the playoffs last year. That might seem like a good enough reason to worry, but the Rangers had to that last year as well. They had to play the Devils, Penguins and Flyers plenty of times and went a combined 11-6-1 against them. Once they get their chemistry back and get some rhythm in their power play and in regular offensive sets, they will return to being a force in the Eastern Conference. And in case you need some stats to get a positive outlook, I've provided some. Just to make sure nobody has forgotten, Henrik Lundqvist is still playing on Broadway. The 2012 Vezina Trophy winner accumulated a 1.97 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage last season; both were in the top-5 in the league. As a team, the Blueshirts only allowed 2.22 goals per game and were +39 in goal differential. Plus, they added a player who is a perennial 30-goal scorer in Rick Nash who has already made a big impact on offense. Nash is the skill player that the Rangers have been missing since Jaromir Jagr left after the ‘07-’08 season. He should be able to help the power play and get the “easy goals” that it seemed the Rangers lacked the ability to obtain last season. [caption id="attachment_321" align="aligncenter" width="300"] There is always hope when Henrik Lundqvist is your goalie.[/caption] So, to sum up, don’t get frustrated Ranger fans. There are still 42 games left to play, with plenty being against the likes of the Panthers, Jets, Hurricanes, and Canadiens. If we’re sitting at 6-13 after February 28th, then you can push the panic button and get nervous. But until then, just enjoy the fact that you have a team who is a Stanley Cup contender.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Around the Farm: Lindberg continues torrid pace, nets game winner

Oscar Lindberg scored the game winner for Skelleftea last night in their 2-0 victory. The goal helped Lindberg continue his scoring pace, where he is still top-5 in the notoriously low-scoring SEL with a line of 15-20-35 in 44 games. Lindberg is expected to come to the US after this SEL year is finished. Many already have him penciled into the Rangers lineup next Fall, although he...

Early metrics shows some surprises

Carl Hagelin’s metrics show he will come around. Around here, we like to use some advanced metrics –in addition to the eye test– to analyze how the Rangers are performing from a defensive standpoint. We use quality of competition, offensive zone starts, and RCorsi, all at even strength. Relative Corsi (RCorsi) is a stat we like to use here to measure puck possession. A positive...

The end of the tough seven game stretch

Rob Carr/Getty Images The Rangers opened the season 3-4-0. Sure, it’s not the start everyone had envisioned, especially with both Ryan Callahan and Chris Kreider out with injuries, but it’s only marginally worse than last year’s 3-2-2 start through seven games. That start included four games against non-playoff teams. This year the Rangers played the Penguins twice, the Flyers...

The depth issue goes beyond roster makeup

Howard Simmons/New York Daily News The Rangers have had a lot of issues at forward depth. It’s something we’ve discussed ad nauseam (here, here, here, here). Part of this issue is the roster makeup, there is no denying that. But that problem was only supposed to be limited to the fourth line of Arron Asham, Jeff Halpern, and Mike Rupp. The thought here was that one more quality...

Does Mashinter Deserve a Call-up?

Since the Rangers obtained Brandon Mashinter from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Tommy Grant, he has done nothing but impress for the CT Whale. The 6' 4" Mashinter has 2g, 4a in his seven games with the Whale and has been more than willing to drop the gloves when necessary, as seen here in last night's 5-4, OT loss to Bridgeport (2:15 mark)... Here...

Around the Farm: Friday/Saturday recap; Nieves with a huge weekend

Sorry for not posting this yesterday. My plan was to have this up before the game, but my car died and I had to wait for a jump. By the time I got in, the game had started. To make up for it, this post will cover both Friday and Saturday. Boo Nieves, the Rangers second round pick in 2012, had a great weekend in Michigan’s sweep of Michigan State. In the first game, Nieves had two...

Friday (2/1/13) Headlines

Bergen Record - Rangers blanked by Penguins, 3-0, at the Garden Bergen Record - Rangers notes: Marc Staal upset about non-call on Malkin New York Post - Penguins shut out sloppy Rangers New York Post - Blueshirts miss Callahan’s hard-nosed play Daily News - Pens get to Rangers, Hank early in 3-0 win New York Times - Inattention Contributes to Problems for...

Rangers 3, Lightning 2

Rick Nash scored a go-ahead goal early in the third period and the New York Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on Saturday night. The Rangers took a 2-1 lead on Nash's second goal of the season, coming at 3:04 of the third period. He skated in from the right wing boards, eluded Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman and jammed the puck past goalie Mathieu Garon. Carl Hagelin...

Game Preview: New York Rangers vs Tampa Bay Lightning

TONIGHT’S GAME: The Rangers will face-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at Tampa Bay Times Forum (7:00 p.m. — TV: MSG Plus; Radio: Bloomberg Radio), to begin a two-game road trip. The Blueshirts currently rank fourth in the Atlantic Division standings, and rank 11th in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 3-4-0 (6 [...]

Backup goalie Biron guides Rangers past Lightning

TAMPA -- It took a backup goaltender, of all things, to finally slow down the Tampa Bay Lightning and to settle down the New York Rangers. Martin Biron made 30 saves behind a defensive effort that left difficult-to-impress head coach John Tortorella "really happy" Saturday, and the Rangers held on for a 3-2 win that broke the Lightning's five-game win streak. Tampa...

Stability and Consistency Lead Rangers to Victory

When it comes to winning a hockey game in the NHL, teams must be consistent in their play and have some stability whether it is with their offense, defense or goaltending. Tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the New York Rangers got the stability in goal they needed from back-up Martin Biron (30 saves) and consistently put pucks on net in a 3-2 victory in Tampa Bay for their...

Rangers, 3 Lightning, 2

Backed by strong performances from Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin, the New York Rangers skated past the Tampa Bay Lightning on the road, 3-2. For a full box score, head over to Yahoo! Sports. ...Welcome to the season Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin. Excellent, hard-nosed performances by them to end respective goal droughts. Felt Taylor Pyatt really drove that second line tonight...

Stamkos nets 2, Lightning fall to Rangers

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Rick Nash scored a go-ahead goal early in the third period and the New York Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on Saturday night. The Rangers took a 2-1 lead on Nash's second goal of the season, coming at 3:04 of the third period. He skated in from the right wing boards, eluded Tampa Bay defenseman Victor Hedman and jammed the puck past goalie Mathieu...

Rangers vs. Lightning (Game 8)

The New York Rangers (3-4-0) travel to Tampa Bay to faceoff against the Lightning ( 6-1-0) at the Tampa Bay Times Forum starting at 7:00 pm. For a preview, go to Yahoo! Sports. Rangers Game Notes TV: MSG Plus; Radio: 1130 AM; XM 213 Live Stream (Don't click on ads in stream, may download virus): Probable Lines: Nash-Richards-Gaborik Hagelin-Stepan-Pyatt ...
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!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.