The New York Rangers started off 2018 with an overtime thriller in the Winter Classic. They then fell off with a 5-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks and a 2-1 shootout win over the Arizona Coyotes.
The New York Rangers continue to be an anomaly. Most teams in the league have a clear idea of who they are and where they are going. They know if they’re rebuilding or contending. The Rangers, however, are caught in between the two mindsets.
They bring talented youth into their lineup and then sit them for more experienced players. By bringing youth in, they signal that they are trying to rebuild on the fly, which is great. But then, they either sit them for veterans or let them rot in the minors. By not allowing talented players to show off their skills in place of veterans, the Rangers aren’t committing to a true rebuild. However, it also shows that they are not serious cup contenders either.
The Rangers barely squeaked out a win against the middling Sabres in the Winter Classic. The Rangers were on their heels for most of the second and third periods. Their luck ran out against the Blackhawks where they lost 5-2. The same issues looming, they took on the Coyotes and won the least convincing game of the season.