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Morning After: Rangers Drop Opener, Lose to Coyotes 4-1

Oct 3, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA; Phoenix Coyotes right wing Radim Vrbata (17) scores his third goal of the game on New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) as center Martin Hanzal (11), defenseman Michael Del Zotto (4) and left wing Rick Nash (61) look on during the third period at Jobing.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers fell to the Coyotes last night in the season opener 4-1.

The theme for this morning after is the phrase work in progress. A lot of work needs to be done, but it seems that they’re going to learn game after game, and fine tune their performance when needed. It’s going to be a dangerous road trip if the team doesn’t wake up sooner than later. A very dangerous road trip.

The Rangers are still not helping out Lundqvist, and I saw a lot of twitter chatter, that Lundqvist was only good because of the system Tortorella put in place the previous 4 seasons. If that’s the case, which I don’t think it is, then this is going to be a year for adjustments, and maybe Lundqvist should reconsider his contract demands. But, I think that like the rest of the team, its just some adjustments that need to be done, and he’ll be fine. There is nothing to worry about with Lundqvist, he’ll be back in midseason form in no time.

Derek Stepan missing the preseason and training camp really did hurt him. Coughed up the puck which help lead to the first goal last night, but he did redeem himself assisting on Marc Staal’s powerplay goal in the second period. He’ll get back to his normal self in no time, he’s just going to take a lot longer than most to really get himself going. But he’ll be back to his elite self in no time. Just happy to see him back on the ice.

Thanks to Rick Nash for standing up to Martin Hanzal after his hit to Derek Stepan. Someone has to be that person that fights for his teammates and stands up for them. Sad to see its the superstar in Nash, but still someone had to do it. And I’m glad he took it all to himself to do so. The Rangers lack toughness and someone to stand up for someone. Yet, it was a pleasure to see Rick do it last night, we need more of that. Just not from him.

The Rangers looked generally different on the powerplay. They were firing shots, they were skating into the zone. Yet some of their lapses from last year did catch up to them. This was a vastly different and more improved powerplay. In which I was generally happy with, yet they need to get better. They need to improve, and they will. But, for what we saw at a start, at least they scored on the powerplay, something that didn’t happen too often.

Really was impressed with Marc Staal last night. Vigneault is a genius putting him on the powerplay, as I think he’ll do good on it for the Rangers. He’ll continue to get better as the season progresses, but damn did he not look good last night. He looked really really good.

The Rangers have the next three days off before playing the Kings in LA on Monday. Face off is Monday at 10:30 on MSG.

Topics: Derek Stepan, Henrik Lundqvist, Mike Smith, New York Rangers, NHL, Radim Vrbata, Regular Season, Rick Nash

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