Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for the New York Rangers, they allow 6 unanswered last night against the Anaheim Ducks. Oh boy. Only two evenings before, the San Jose Sharks lit up the Blueshirts for 9, including 4 by Czech rookie Tomas Hertl. Watch it again.
Maybe the Rangers should fire their head coach? Oh wait, they can’t do that. Alain Vigneault was just hired by New York this offseason. He has coached four games with his new team. Too early to blame him.
Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist hasn’t been great, allowing nine of the Rangers fifteen goals against in their last two starts. But really, Lundqvist has saved this team way too many times. He gets a free pass. Chalk it up to a rough week for the Rangers superstar net minder.
It doesn’t help that Rick Nash incurred injury in the 1st period of Tuesday’s game against the Sharks. The loss of number 61 is a big blow to the Rangers offensive attack.
The Rangers are 1-3-0 to open the season, albeit, they faced the misfortune of starting against some very powerful teams from the Western Conference. The Coyotes, Kings, Sharks and Ducks all represent projected playoff franchises from arguably the NHL’s toughest division.
Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard, and Ryan Callahan are scoreless after four games played. Without goals from their top six forward group, no team, including the Rangers, will experience success.
Although goals scored has been a problem thus far, it’s goals against that is shocking. The Rangers are supposed to be a defensive minded team. New coach Vigneault is known for great defensive coaching, on top. And Henrik Lundqvist typically receives credit as the NHL’s best goaltender. As good as that all sounds, the Blueshirts occupy the league’s last spot for goals allowed, at 20, after four games played.
Averaging five goals against a night cannot possibly last – the Rangers are too good. At least, they are better than this.
Chalking it up to a rough first ten days is probably the only solution here. However, if things don’t change drastically and quickly, the situation in Manhattan could get very interesting very soon.