The Rangers Figured Out How to Play Hockey

alg-rangers-jubi-jpgMadison Square Garden, NY – With baseball season finally being over and ┬áthe Giants being somewhere between mediocre and dreadful, I can now focus on hockey. For the first couple of weeks this season it looked like the Rangers’ season would be a complete bust. I thought that the New York Giants might have more wins than the New York Rangers by the time Christmas came around. But after 12 games, the Rangers now have a 5-7-0 record. Very respectable considering the team only won two of their first eight games.┬áThe good play started with an overtime win against the Red Wings in Detroit. And after losing the home opener against Les Habitants, the Blueshirts have put together two very solid wins over the Islanders and Sabres.

marc-staal-puck-slap-shot-face-eyeThe defense has been a lot more stout of late. After shipping an average of five goals per game over the first five games, the Rangers have only conceded six goals in the last four games. The team certainly has a different feel since John Tortorella took his tough talking talents to Vancouver. Alain Vigneault and his flor-de-lis brand of hockey are starting to sink in with the Rangers. Anton Stralman has been playing very well of late and Marc Staal is back in the mix after almost being blinded by a puck last season. The new defensive scheme implemented by Vigneault took awhile to sink in but it looks like the Rangers figured out how to defend. The Rangers aren’t letting their opponents get many good chances. Lundqvist, now back from the mystery injury, and new backup netminder Cam Talbot have been very good of late and a far cry from the first few games of the season when the Rangers goalies couldn’t stop a beach ball.

Chris_Kreider_21_590x390Vigneault has brought Chris Kreider back in after Tortorella banished him to the deserts of the American League last season. And the kid has rewarded Alain with some stellar play to start the season. Kreider has been skating hard, finishing his checks, and creating havoc in the offensive zone. With Callahan out for a couple more weeks and Rick Nash out indefinitely, the Rangers have needed Kreider to step up and he has. He’s been the Rangers’ best player so far.

Brad Richards has returned to playing good hockey after wandering the wastelands under Torts. Richards has been playing on the wing a lot instead of at center. And the change in role has given him a much needed boost in confidence. He is skating hard, finding open ice, and putting pucks on net. It is definitely a renaissance for Richards under the new coach and hopefully Richards’ good play continues throughout the season.

new-york-rangers__400x300While things have gotten better on the Garden ice lately, there are still some concerns. The Rangers are getting a lot of shots but they’re not scoring enough goals. Not having Callahan and Nash is a detriment, but with Derek Stepan, Richards, Brassard, Poulliot, Hagelin, Zuccharello, and Kreider, the Rangers have plenty of fire power. Hopefully it is only a matter of time before there is a deluge of goals from the Ranger forwards. And with a lot of games coming up at home in the Garden, the Rangers have a very good opportunity to start climbing the standings.

Lets go Rangers!!!

 

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About Different Matt 269 Articles
Different Matt is our cunning Cornell grad/rugby player. "Diff" joined us just after the switch from being "Mets only" to an all-sports stop. He's a Yankee fan; thus he was "different." Aside from the Yanks, he's a diehard NY Giants, NY Rangers and NY Knicks fan. He also likes long walks on the beach and cappuccinos and nearly died in Las Vegas.