By Brian Monzo
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Back in the day, meaning the last few seasons, if the Rangers lost two in a row and looked dead on arrival, the panic would start. Fans would expect a five game losing streak, where the team would score 4 total goals and it would be a disaster. But if you’ve read the papers and websites, you aren’t seeing that. You are seeing the Rangers go about their business.
They did make a move, sending struggling sophomore defenseman Michael Del Zotto to their AHL affiliate, the Connecticut Whale and called up rookie Ryan McDonagh. However, that move would have happened even if the Rangers had won the last two games . Del Zotto had been a healthy scratch and not playing at the level the team knows he can.
The feel on this team is they will bounce back. They have a balance of talent, and a two game losing streak isn’t something that is going to send this team tanking.
They do battle with the Hurricanes at home tonight before heading west to face off against the Stars and the Blues. All are games the Rangers can, and should win.
I think the reason the fans aren’t getting nervous is they are seeing a team be a team. They are getting contributions from every player on the ice. I don’t want to sit here and reeling off stats but Brian Boyle has 14 goals, Brandon Prust has a career high 15 points and Dan Girardi has 17 assists. Their best defenseman, and should be all-star, Marc Staal, most known for his defensive play, has added another element of offense to game, already netting 6 goals and adding 10 assists.
The point is, because they aren’t relying on the success of one player, a long losing streak is not something anyone needs to worry about. I would be shocked if this current slide of two games extends to three. All of that, and I didn’t mention Marian Gaborik, Henrik Lundqvist and Brandon Dubinsky.
-Loved what I saw in the fourth annual Winter Classic. Despite the change of time due to weather, the Pens and Caps put on a great display and once again showed why the NHL never fails to put on a good show.
-Regarding this new all-star format (the first group of players voted in by fans, the rest picked by the NHL then two captains pick their teams ….), while I always back what the league does, I am scratching my head here. I’d prefer just East/West. I don’t want to see Jonathan Toews and Alex Ovechkin on the same team.
-For those puckheads locked into the World Juniors, if you are 30 and under, how great is it to hear Gary Thorne calling hockey games? Reminds me of being in high school, watching the playoffs. Also, solid job of color commentary by some guy named Dave Starman …
-Back to the NHL, bad job by the Isles moving Dwayne Roloson at this point to the Lightning. They only got a mediocre defensive prospect but moved a character goalie who is going to make a good team better. I would have thought they could have gotten more him later in the season.
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