The Rangers starting off the season on a grueling 9 game road trip, where they would play a bunch in short succession, before returning back home and playing more towards familiar territory more spread out. The team, has started off slow, a disappointing 3-6-0, but they have luck on their side as their star goaltender makes his return to the lineup, presumably 100% healthy, and their home fans by their side tomorrow against the Montreal Canadiens.
But, this team should not forget their first month of the season, as lessons should be taken from this. This road trip for the Rangers should be used as a valuable experience, in ways that can help them improve, and succeed going forward. something I am sure they all want. They would all like to forget what happened to them, as the past is the past. But they shouldn’t.
As a team, to improve you got to build on what worked, but learn from what didn’t. And at the begging part of the road trip for the Rangers, a lot didn’t work. The system too new for these players to grasp, had a lot of execution errors, and most importantly players were at times out of position. You can say practice makes perfect, and it has, as the past two games have shown, there have been little to no errors in terms of execution. But they have to then build at this, and continue to improve.
Another thing that happened at this time was the teams health, which was already in the red, get progressively worse as the season went on in the early going. The status of Rick Nash is up in the air, Ryan Callahan still a long ways to go, and its hopeful that we’re going to see Carl Hagelin as early as Tuesday against the Islanders, who are under their own changes themselves. But yet, the Rangers are going to get healthy, and their lack of offense is going to get better.
The ability for the team not to score at a higher rate like many was expending to (or as the fans were expecting) under Alain Vigneault caused many to get concerned, and wonder what may happen. We’ve already seen the callups of J.T. Miller and Chris Kreider. But fans are asking for more, they want to see players like Danny Kristo and Oscar Lindberg called up, in which I say this. They are not NHL ready, especially Kristo. Give them time, they will be. But as of right now, they aren’t ready because they are lacking on both sides of the ice, more Kristo than Lindberg, but I won’t dive into that right now.
The Rangers will get healthy. The Rangers will continue to understand the system, and understand what the coach wants them to play on both the offensive side and the defensive side. Most importantly the goals will come. If Saturday was any indication, they’re going to get going, it just takes longer for some to join the season.
As for Rick Nash, there’s a time to panic. And as of right now, there is no need to panic just yet. Give it another month or so, if we don’t hear anything by then. Then we worry.
But in conclusion, this road trip for the Rangers was an experience, and something that they shouldn’t take lightly. Let’s see how they respond starting tomorrow back at home.