The New York Rangers are off to a disappointing start, but fans do not need to worry.
The Rangers, who finished last year’s regular season as the No. 1 seed, have lost five of their first nine games. The team’s lack of scoring is evident. The Rangers have only scored 20 goals, the lowest in the Eastern Conference.
Although the Rangers have only amassed eight points in nine games, the season is still young and gives them plenty of time to bounce back.
Besides, there are a number of factors that need to be accounted for before Rangers fans go into panic mode.
As long as Henrik Lundqvist is the goaltender at Madison Square Garden, the Rangers can never be counted out.
He’s coming off his best season as a Ranger, in which he set new career-bests in wins (39), GAA (1.97) and saving percentage (.930.) Unsurprisingly, he was awarded the Vezina trophy for his outstanding play.
Even though King Henrik has had a slow start to the season by his own standard, it is still respectable. The Rangers have allowed 25 goals against so far this season, of which Lundqvist allowed 21.
That’s less than both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Islanders who are currently in No. 7 and No. 8 respectively. This underlines the point that the Rangers’ problem is scoring, not goaltending.
The New York Rangers were the No. 1 seed heading into the playoffs last year. How did that work out for them?
Rangers fans will also begrudgingly remember 2009-10 season where they lost out on the last playoff spot to the Flyers in a penalty shootout in the last game of the regular season. Philadelphia ended up going all the way to the Stanley Cup finals before losing to the Blackhawks.
It doesn’t matter whether the Rangers finish as No. 1 or No. 8, their title hopes will still be alive no matter what. The crucial part is getting into the playoffs.
The Rangers have started off with an incredibly tough schedule against top-tier teams who have simply gotten the better of them.
The Rangers were able to climb back to .500 within six games but they’re now 4-5-0 after another loss to Pittsburgh and a loss on the road to the New Jersey Devils.
Eventually the New York Rangers will have to figure out how to compete in close games with their toughest rivals, but until we see them start losing to some really bad teams we’ll have to give them the benefit of the doubt.
The lockout couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Rangers who desperately needed Rick Nash to get some ice time with his new teammates.
Nash has racked up two goals and five assists in nine games this season, which is slightly lower than the numbers he’s been averaging over the past few years.
Nevertheless, Nash is infinitely more talented than the players he was traded for, and once he gets comfortable in his position the Rangers can be guaranteed that their scoring woes will be over.
When Ryan Callahan left the game with a shoulder injury against the Philadelphia Flyers, many Rangers fans feared the worst.
The next day, Callahan went through an MRI to determine the extent of the injury and the Rangers got some very positive news. The injury was not as severe as first thought and Callahan would only be out for 10-14 days.
AOL SportingNews reported that Callahan was practicing with a non-contact jersey on Monday, his first practice since the injury.
Losing Callahan for an extended period of time would have been devastating for the Rangers, and with his return in the upcoming week the Broadway Blueshirts can focus on bringing New York its first Stanley Cup since 1994.