The New York Rangers are currently in the core of a three-game losing streak, and have started their long nine-game homestand with a measly record of 0-2-1. Out of those three losses, two have been in extremely embarrassing fashion as they got blown out for the second straight game last night against the Nashville Predators 4-1, with the other landslide coming against the Washington Capitals on Sunday by the same scoreline.
If you’re looking for positives out of NY’s recent string of play, you will fail to find anything. At the moment, nothing is going right for this team. They are playing with no heart, no drive, no passion, and they are simply playing soft. Which is the reason why they currently sit at 15-16-1, and are miraculously still only one point out of a top-three spot in the Metropolitan division.
After their most recent debacle last night, Alain Vigneault came out in his post-game press conference and said the following, “I am not quite sure we have the personnel to play the type of game I would like to play.” When looking at this roster, he doesn’t have much to work with besides the services of Rick Nash, who has been playing extremely well since coming back from his most recent concussion. But, when looking at other players on this team, none of them have been producing at the level that they need to be. However, it is up to the coach to fit his playing style around what he has on the roster.
Today, the Rangers made the move they think will add the spark that they need. They have requested the helping-hand of Dylan McIlrath, who was their tenth overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Standing at 6-foot-5, McIlrath will add much-needed toughness and a solid physical presence on the ice. He delivers bone-crushing hits, stands up for teammates, and also has some offensive flair as well, he has tallied seven points in 24 games with the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Should Vigneault choose to go down that path, Dylan’s services will be available for him when his team hosts the Columbus Blue Jackets tomorrow night, as Nash will be playing against his former team and Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, and Marian Gaborik will all make their return to Madison Square Garden.
McIlrath currently leads the AHL with 115 penalty minutes, and he has swiftly earned a reputation as one of the league’s most feared fighters.
Currently, the Rangers are missing many things. Now McIlrath will not come into the NHL and quickly become a superstar, but he will be able to fill the void of the concussed Marc Staal, and Dylan could potentially become the player that rights the ship for the Rangers and gets them heading in the right direction.