Well it’s certainly been a fun year to be a Rangers fan. Quite frankly I haven’t said those words in a while. Yeah it’s been a long time since the Rangers have been this good. It almost seems like they can’t do anything wrong.
But why have they played so well? There’s really no number one reason why they are this good. On all facets of the game the team is greatly improved from last year. every players has played a huge role for the team. It always seems like when one player is struggling another player will step up. Hockey is a true team sport and everyone this year on the Rangers is playing a team game.
Read more to see how I breakdown why the Rangers have been successful.
- Goaltending, Goaltending, Goaltending- This team is truly built from the net out. Henrik Lundqvist has been spectacular and it seems like he’s better than ever before. Marty Biron has been no slouch either putting up great numbers as well, and playing great when he’s been called upon.
- Michael Del Zotto, Dan Girardi, and Ryan Mcdonagh- When Staal and Sauer went down these three guys put the entire defense on their back. They logged huge minutes in all formats. Be it on the PP, PK, or even strength. This team would be under .500 if not for these guys.
- Marian Gaborik Has Risen!- Goaltenders everywhere beware because Marian Gaborik is back. He’s truly looked awesome this year and has a chance this year to put up career numbers. He even looks better than his first year here in 09-10. Gaborik has definitely returned to being one of the most feared snipers in this league.
- Broadway Brad- Whether he’s scoring goals with .01 seconds left, or taking the younger guys under his wing Brad Richards has given the Rangers a clutch playmaker. This is a young team and his locker room presence has been so valuable. Did I mention he has six game winning goals?
- Balanced Lines- This Rangers team is far from a one line team, and opposing defenses can’t throw their top pair only on the Gas Line for instance. If they do that they’ll be burned by Brad Richard’s line. Teams must account for all four lines on the Rangers.
- Belief In John Tortorella- I don’t think Tort’s coaching style has changed that much from last year to this year. The difference is the players are buying into his system and you can see that on 24/7. They are ready to jump through a brick wall for him and he would do the same. By bashing the refs after the Winter Classic I think the players feel that he is all in on this team. The players are really buying Tortorella’s system of hockey and playing it to a tee.
- Ryan Callahan- Callahan‘s a bit too modest to say this about himself but he’s a true leader. He does the things he wants the team to do and they follow him. He truly epitomizes a player that plays for Tortorella and the Rangers.
- Players Stepping Up- When the Rangers were struggling a bit they called on Carl Hagelin and John Mitchell. Both of these guys stepped into there roles and I think it’s safe to say have done better than expected. It’s guys like Girardi and Del Zotto on defense too, when they have to play the big minutes they don’t complain and just do their job.
There are really to many factors to name in why I think the Rangers are doing as well as they are but those are the big one’s in my mind. Hope you enjoyed reading. Be sure to follow me on twitter @Matt_J1.