The New York Rangers have had a great start this year, and look to be one of the most dominating teams in the NHL this season. They beat up a depleted Devils team last night winning 5-2, but unfortunately did not put up a strong 60 minutes. Their first period was dull and lame, with only a few chances to score.
They were lucky to be down only 1-0 after the first period, mostly thanks to New Jersey netminder Kevin Weekes, and the injury-riddled Devils.
The Rangers scored on a five on three in the second and continued to dominate, scoring a total of four goals in the second period. In the third, the Rangers backed off again, showing signs of dominance at times and signs of lazy play. But, in the end, they got the win and the two points.
There are many aspects of the Rangers' game that have to get better.
There was some improvement on the powerplay, but still have to be consistent to win some games for this team. The Rangers are fast and move the puck well. Other teams are going to take lazy penalties and cheat against the Rangers due to their speed, so the power play has to click.
The Rangers also need Scott Gomez at 100 percent. If he is hurt, the Rangers have replacements to get by for a couple of games.
However, this team needs Gomez. He can make anyone he plays with better. While his stats aren't eye popping, he still does so much for the team. He makes plays, he skates hard, and gets back on defense.
It's not his fault he doesn't have a legit sniper, but he is making due, and I have a feeling Ryan Callahan and Markus Naslund will start to contribute with Gomez. Maybe even giving Gomez Lauri Korpikoski with his speed and sniping skills, Gomez can finally come out of his shell.
So, while some might say they are the best team in the East, I see a team that still has room to improve and juggle lines to find the perfect ones. With Hendrick Lundquist in net, there aren't many games the Rangers have to worry about.
Just imagine if they skated a great 60 minutes at the start of each game.
Most games would be over so fast that a second period wouldn't even be necessary.