Originally written November 04, 2011 on Race Review Online:
Tampa_bay_lightning_5641
<img border="0 src="http://sports-at-work.com/ http:="" bleacherreport.com="" images="" pixel.gif"="" mce_src="http://bleacherreport.com/images/pixel.gif" "="">If one conclusion can be drawn from the handful of NHL games played thus far, it is simply that the Rangers are desperately lacking in terms of offensive depth. We're not referring to the kind of depth that a team dreams of, the kind where the third line can be counted on to chip in more than its fair share of goals. If only that were the case. The kind of depth the Rangers lack, rather, is of the variety that any team that hopes to accomplish anything of note requires, namely a second unit that can consistently create pressure, score goals with regularity and relieve some of the offensive burden from the first unit. Heading into the season, the expectation was that the Rangers were indeed well-equipped in this regard in that the line of Anisimov-Dubinsky-Callahan would follow up a very strong 2010-2011 season and provide cover for the Brad Richards-Marian Gaborik combination. This expectation was not based on hope or fantasy but rather on past performance. The threesome was consistently effective a year ago and would have produced more gaudy numbers if not for the numerous injuries to Callahan that disrupted their flow. The harsh reality staring the team in the face now, though, is that the Anisimov line may have overachieved last season, meaning that perhaps they are truly more in the mold of that rare third line that teams crave and not the rock-solid second unit they were expected to be. There is not one true sniper among them, no pure goal scorer, and consequently there is no compelling reason for an opposing coach to focus defensive resources away from trying to neutralize the Brad Richards-Marian Gaborik combination.
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