With New Faces Rangers Start Season 1-1

The Rangers started the season going up against the reigning Stanley Cup champion, Pittsburgh Penguins. Let us just say that there is still a decent gap between these teams. While the score was close, 3-2, the Rangers looked outplayed for most of the game. The next day they played the Ottawa Senators and after a bid of fiddling around blew them out in their home opener.

Starting with the Penguins game, the Rangers offense started out the game looking fine and more importantly more impressive than they looked last season when they had trouble getting the puck in the net. The problem was once again the Rangers were having trouble scoring failing to score on power play opportunities. Worse on their first penalty killing opportunity they gave up a goal. Their aggressiveness was nice to see but it also put them out of position which Pittsburgh was quick to capitalize. Basically the sense from this game is the offense has gotten better but not enough and the defense which was great last season seems to have taken a backseat in their efforts to score more goals. Now this was their first game of the season with a lot of new faces and a fairly new scheme so there should be noticeable improvement as the season goes on.

Going to the Senators game there was definitely improvement, whether that be the product of playing a worse team or players more comfortable is another story. To me I felt there were holes in the Rangers defense again as I thought the Senators had some great scoring shots, but Lundqvist played fantastic last night bailing the Rangers out. On the offensive side they seem to be playing the power play a lot better and while they still have not scored they set up some great shots and if they keep it up they will score more as the season goes on. In addition they had some great shots with even young defenseman Del Zotto scoring a goal in this game.

After these two games I believe there is a good chance the Rangers make the playoffs this season, with how far they go depending on how quickly they can mesh together and fix the defensive lapses. They still have Lundqvist in goal and if Gaborik stays healthy their offense should continue to get better. Their next game is against the Devils and hopefully they can continue to improve.

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