Well Ranger fans, we’re back! It’s Sunday and that means Belvin’s Bandwagon is here! This one is extremely different from last week’s, but we’ll just get right to it.
Like- Mats Zuccarello, the ONLY New York Ranger player this week to be playing consistently well, he’s scored a goal in the first three games this week. He’s been the only Ranger to hustle up and down the ice and give 110% while he’s been out on the ice. However, does this really surprise anyone? Zuccarello has always been the smallest player on the team and one of the smallest players in the league and has always made up for it with heart and hustle. Zuccarello has been the ONLY light in an otherwise VERY DARK week for the Rangers.
Dislike – EVERYONE ELSE. Top to bottom I was thoroughly unimpressed with every aspect of the team this week but I’m going to break this up into different parts for each section of the team. They lost three out of four VERY winnable hockey games against VERY beatable teams. The teams I’m speaking of should have been beatable especially if you are a team that is serious about making a run at a Stanley Cup championship. The teams they played this week are middle of the pack teams that shouldn’t have given this Rangers team very much trouble. Let’s start at the beginning and go through the week. On Monday, Cam Talbot let up five goals. Which is unlike him, but still five goals, with three of them being extremely weak goals. One of them being on a breakaway that went almost directly over Talbot’s head, and the other two coming as what should have been simple saves from in the high slot on shots by former Ranger Olli Jokinen. Henrik Lundqvist, the heart and soul of the Rangers got his contract renewed and had a good game against the Buffalo Sabres, (I would hope so, because they are LAST in the National Hockey League). Aside from that however he had a questionable game against the New Jersey Devils and the Washington Capitals in which he let up two EXTREMELY soft goals in each game. Against New Jersey, the third goal going straight through his five-hole and the overtime goal that hit his glove and went directly over it.
Now, not to put the blame on Lundqvist or Talbot, so where is the defense? Lundqvist is one person and while he should not be letting in weak goals he also should NOT be put in the position where he has to make the perfect save every single time, his defense should be able out bail him out like he’s bailed them out for the better part of a decade! Giving up fourteen goals in four games has to be something that the goal tending AND the defense take the blame for, that’s what defensemen do, I know because I’ve played defense my entire life, you help the goalie keep goals out however you can.
Now, I have a serious question for the Rangers offense. WHERE ARE YOU? Not only were the Rangers outscored this week, but where has the offense been all season? They have YET to find a consistent source of offense on this roster. NEWS FLASH: Rick Nash cannot score every goal every single game. It will not end well, for an example see this entire season. The Rangers need to find an offensive touch or the rest of this season is going to be very, VERY long.
Finally, what has been the response from head coach Alain Vigenault or general manager Glen Sather? There has been ZERO response from the two of them. Now I know there’s only so much a coach and GM can do but the thing is they haven’t done ANYTHING. The two of them are content to just sit around and soak in the mediocrity and it is unfair to the fans of the organization. This was a VERY, very sad week for the Rangers and I hope for all of our sakes it turns around sometime this season.