On Twitter, I asked fellow New York Rangers fans if they feel the team is ready to go out and win the Stanley Cup and aside from a few responses, the general consensus was yes, they are. Well I’ve come to break some news to my fellow Blueshirt lovers, this team is not Cup ready and Glen Sather has not even shown the indication of wanting to go in that direction. While I won’t spend this time attacking Sather again, I will spend it telling you why the Rangers aren’t ready for a title.
First, let’s compare the Rangers to the last three Stanley cup champions, the 2013 Chicago Blackhawks, the 2012 Los Angeles Kings and the 2011 Boston Bruins. They all had very good goaltenders who got hot at the right time, but the Rangers also have the best goaltender in the league so they’re ok on that front. Their struggle is defense because there’s absolutely no comparison between Michael Del Zotto and players like Duncan Keith, Drew Doughty or Zdeno Chara. The Rangers defense consists of the top defensemen, Dan Girardi, Marc Staal, and Ryan McDonagh, and possibly a star in John Moore but we don’t know that yet. At any rate, the defense does not pair up to other top notch defenses around the league and the only way to fix that problem is to wait for youth to come up through the system or to go out and get a top 4 defenseman.
Offense: Their biggest issue. The most they’ve had in recent years is ONE player on the team who can put up points on a consistent basis, ONLY ONE. That player’s name was Marian Gaborik, he’s now gone and has been replaced by Rick Nash, but again only one. Chicago has Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, etc. Where are those guys on the Rangers? Where is Milan Lucic, or Dustin Brown, or Patrice Bergeron? Nowhere. The Rangers do not have a means of consistent scoring throughout the lineup. During the 2013 regular season, the Rangers top 3 points scorers each acquired 44 points (Derek Stepan), 42 points (Rick Nash), and 34 points (Brad Richards) and then had a lapse off of points into the low 20’s and high teens in terms of points. To compare in the same season, the Chicago Blackhawks’ top point scorers had 55 points (Patrick Kane), 48 points (Jonathan Toews), and 31 (Marian Hossa) and going down had point totals in the high 20’s. The Rangers need to find a group of players to consistently put up numbers like the Blackhawks do or they will run into the same problem they always do in the playoffs, a lack of scoring.