By Brian Monzo
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It’s been a long time since we’ve had good reason to complain about the Rangers this season. So I figured now is the time considering they’ve lost two of three — and have looked brutal in doing so.
Ok, the season isn’t over and they are still tops in the league, but if we start with the loss to the Senators, you saw signs of the old Rangers. A team that fought hard but could not find way to score. The main difference between this year and teams past is that the very next game they went up to Toronto and beat up the Maple Leafs in every aspect of the game. Physically and on the scoreboard. 3-0, Marty Biron gets the shutout, all is good.
The very next night they come out and play a heartless game against the Canadiens. New York, losers of two out of three after the 4-1 defeat. For this team, it is something we haven’t seen since early October. What’s frustrating is that it has been the lack of scoring. Three of their last four games they have score one goal or less, including getting shutout by the Senators.
What needs to change?
Brad Richards has been OK, not great. You can’t complain about his goal total, but he needs to bring it every game, and he hasn’t. It is acceptable when the team is winning. When they aren’t, it is more noticeable.
Artem Anisimov has to find his game. No points in 11 games. There we go.
I am a fan of Brian Boyle, but he has no offensive game. The Rangers rely way too much on his line to find scoring and it’s not a solution. The effort, checking and grinding that his life, normally along with Brandon Prust is excellent — but can’t be relied on for offense, and far too often it is.
Finally, the $&#%$ power play needs to wake up. It seems no matter who is on the ice, the power play is never consistent. It’s been years. There is no denying that Michael Del Zotto’s game is getting really good, but until he revitalizes the power play, it will be what is expected of him. Their power play is currently clicking at 14.5% of the time. Awful. 23rd in the league.
In my best efforts to start — or continue — a rumor, how good would Shane Doan look in a Rangers jersey come the trading deadline late next month? The 35-year-old center, currently the captain in Phoenix, plays the exact game the Rangers do and could add that always mentioned ‘veteran presence’ in the locker room. He has a desire to win, and the way the Rangers have been playing (for the most part) indicates there is a chance they could be competing for something special in a few months.
Also, mark my words: Zach Parise will not be a Devil next season. But that’s another story for another time.
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What do you think needs to change for the Rangers? Sound off below…