A Fighting Chance Or a Last Ditch Effort? Is This Rangers Team For Real?

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A Fighting Chance Or a Last Ditch Effort? Is This Rangers Team For Real?
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

 

In the history of the NHL, no team has ever went undefeated in a season. No matter how great the team was, or who they had on their team. It didn’t matter if they had some legendary head coach, or a team filled with Hall of Famers. Winning 84 straight games is just about as impossible as it can get.

So a perfect season, or a perfect team was , is and never will be, ever expected to accomplish such a task. But a team gets ranked by the amount of games they win. In most cases it tells us, the fans. just how good our team is, and isn’t that what everyone wants, a good team?

But in the case of the New York Rangers, it seems that even the players are confused about what exactly they are. Are they great, just average, or they don’t stand a chance in hell!

It seems that Ranger fans can not catch a break. Year after year we look at a roster filled with decent players that can get the job done. Win games, make the playoffs and with greatness win the Stanley Cup! That is all we ask for!

We can not even catch a break just knowing ok, the team stinks and will not go anywhere this year. No expectations, no drama, and no disappointments! Most teams are smart enough to know when their team is terrible and try to rebuild. After a few failed years of trying to turn the team into a winning team by other means other then rebuilding. Everyone knows it can take a year, or ten years once the rebuilding process starts before any real turn around happens. But at least it is a start to something, the organization is trying to do something.

In the past 56 years the Rangers have went from great , to terrible, to great again, to being the worst team in the league. In that 56 years they won the Cup twice, and they went through just around 20 different head coaches. The blame game went from players to coaches, to General Manager and back around the circle over and over again.

This year has to be one of the most frustrating season ever. All summer we had discussions on who they should keep , acquire and get rid of. Come October the results are in, and everyone looks at each other with a crooked smile. Now really sure how we look.

I for one had high hopes. For years we had scoring issues which was answered with the signing of Marion Gaborik and Vinny Prospal. With the addition of several 20 plus goal scorers that brought the total to 6, rather then 4 that they had last year. After all, the Penguins won the cup with only 6 players scoring more the 20 goals why can’t the Rangers.

With the exceptions of Wade Redden And Michal Rozsival, our defense was very good last year. But in the off season changes were made, but we did not mind because 2 rookies won the hearts of Rangers fans early in the season. Matt Gilroy and Michael Del Zotto played fantastic early in the season and their defensive play has improved greatly.

The season started and even when the Rangers lost to the defending Cup Champion they looked good. They turned around and won the next seven in a row. Some of those games they should have lost for sure, but they managed to pull off the wins. Making them appear better then what they were.

With those wins came a lot of hype. Is this team contenders or is this another fluke just like last year. The scoring issues seemed to be taken care of how ever as the Blue shirts scored 30 goals in those 7 games. So this is a different team then last year for sure.

After 8 games into to the season, disaster struck. The Rangers get destroyed by San Jose Sharks and from that point on they never looked the same.

Defense was lacking , scoring started to disappear. A great goalie wishing he was anywhere else but on the ice with the support he has. A captain that never has a real answer to anything he is asked. The roller coaster ride has began and we are all going along for the ride. I don’t like roller coaster rides, I get that same nauseating feeling that I get when I watch the Rangers play.

For four months the ride has went on, non stop. Signs of greatness and signs of disaster. They play great against the number 1 team in their division, then lose to the worst team in the league. How does that happen?

When you look and compare the Rangers Roster to the Devils Roster, on paper the Ranegrs have the better team. So why is the Devils having so much success and the Rangers are not?

It is deja-vu all over again. Seems like losing to the worst teams in the league is becoming a tradition.

In the last 2 games the Rangers have scored 14 goals. It is safe to say that they have broken the scoring streak and scoring drought. They also beat 2 very good teams in doing so.

Taking a look at these 2 wins, the Rangers did not just beat them, they out played them for 5 periods out of 6. Something we have not seen in a very long time. So what lit the spark that has now gotten them fired up.

The trade deadline is approaching. March 3 is pretty much just around the corner. Did Coach Tortorella use that as his fuel when nothing else seemed to work. If so will everything go back to normal after the deadline? Where has this team that we have watched in these last 2 games been? Will they continue to perform as they have been or is this just another wave of the long ride just to get our hopes up?

What will happen with the trade dead line? Tortorella seems determined to keep players like Brian Boyle, Aaron Voros , Enver Lisin riding the bench and only getting minimal ice time. Where as Higgin is a wash for the season as well as Ales Kotalik who has not even played as of late. Donald Brashear is old and this should be his last year, but I doubt it. Getting paid 2 mill a year to do nothing is a really good job.

Wade Redden and Michal Rozsival will remain do to no one will look at them and their contracts. Rumors that Brandon Dubinsky will be traded is in the air, but I doubt that will happen. He has been on a 9 game point streak and over all looking ok. Drury will retire in NY, who in their right mind will pay 7 million for a penalty killer.

Will Sather dig deep and trade away some players from Hartford. Will that help with the Cap as it is now.? How many players have a no trade Claus in their contracts? a lot of questions that only time can answer.

As it looks now, how can anyone complain with the last 2 games. The Rangers looked very impressive. I doubt they will be able to keep it up. But the real tests are on the way. A tough team in Philly tomorrow night, followed by a rematch against Montreal on Saturday and the Penguins on Monday.

Will the RANGERS have that fire, or will it be diminished once again. They need to play strong defensively, something they are definitely lacking in. The goals will come, they always do. Most of the time in spurts, but the Rangers need to find a way to not only win but to score on a consistent level. Maintaining the level of play that they have been at is not hard to do. It takes will and determination, and it looks as if they have both, as well as conditioning. These next few games will tell us all if this Ranger team can produce on a regular basis and give us a better look into the future or will this roller coaster ride never end!

Some people are saying that it is only 2 games, and yes they are right. But it is the way they played those 2 games that has to have everyone scratching their heads and asking if this team is for real or not!

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