NHL Lockout 2012: The New York Rangers Are Better Off with a Shortened Season

John NizinskiAnalyst IIISeptember 24, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13:  (L-R) Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers and Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins listen to the NHLPA press conference at Marriott Marquis Times Square on September 13, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The NHL is one of the four major sports in America, but it is not on the same level as the NFL, MLB or NBA. That being said, it has been gaining some steam since the league's lockout and season cancellation in 2004.

The NHL is currently in the midst of another lockout, and if we have a season, it will most likely be a shortened one.

For the New York Rangers and Rangers fans, they have to be happy with it. 

A shortened season is ideal for the Rangers. In fact, the current team situation leaves it as the favorite to win the Stanley Cup.

Why is that, John? Well, let me tell you.


Fewer Games for "The King"

The Rangers' most important and valuable player is their goalie, Henrik Lundqvist. "The King" is the best goalie in the NHL right now, and last season showed how dominant he can be.

Lundqvist would play fewer games in a shortened season, giving his body some rest after a long, arduous campaign last year.


Gaborik and His Shoulder

The Rangers' top goal scorer underwent shoulder surgery this summer. Marian Gaborik went under the knife to fix a torn rotator cuff, which leaves him in line to be back on the ice sometime around November.


Gaborik knows how to put the puck in the back of the net. Now with the acquisition of Rick Nash, Gaborik being on the ice helps Nash as well. 

Both Nash and Gaborik will feel less pressure to produce goals if they are both healthy on the ice. If the Rangers start the season without Gaborik, Nash might feel that he has to score a ton of goals to make up for Gaborik being out.

Because of how deep and balanced the Rangers are, the more time they can play with their full squad, the better chance they have of winning.


The Way the Rangers Play

The Rangers are a physical team that can beat opponents with their physicality, defense and goaltending.

Being a tough team that imposes its will onto its opponent also has an effect on the team itself. A shorter season makes it less strenuous for the Rangers' players and allows them to play more physical deeper into the playoffs.