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OTG POLL

What do you think of the Rangers season so far?

Quite surprised
Modestly surprised
As expected
Worse than expected
Terrible

Previous Polls
 INJURY REPORT
Vladislav Namestnikov 12/7
Expected to be in the line-up tonight
 
Mats Zuccarello 12/7
Appears as if he will not be in the line-up tonight, but has been rotating in during practice
 
Pavel Buchnevich 12/7
Skating as an extra in practice, close to returning
 
Adam McQuaid 12/7
Is skating in a non-contact jersey as he edges closer to a return
 
Kevin Shattenkirk 12/11
Left the arena with his arm in a sling, and likely won't know the extent of the injury until Wednesday
 
Cody McLeod 11/23
Broken hand will keep out to about New Year's eve
 
  MORE INJURY NEWS...
SEPTEMBER 24TH, 2014
CAPTION THIS
Read the submissions so far and see if you can come up with the best caption for today's photo

Best Of:
2014-15 ~ 2013-14
2012-13 ~ 2011-12
2010-11 ~ 2009-10

RUMOR MILL

Tuesday - October 25th

Either Josh Jooris (New York Daily News) or Dylan McIlrath are likely to find themselves on waivers when Pavel Buchnevich returns from back spasms.

The team is expected to cut the roster down to 22 players, and as such one of the two will need to be either moved or sent down.

  MORE RUMORS...

Question Of The Day

September 29th, 2017

How many rostered players were on the ice for opening night 2016-17

Answer...
  BIRTHDAYS

Bill MacKenzie - 1911
Clint Smith - 1913
John McKenzie - 1937

  SEARCH BIRTHDAYS
  RANDOM RANGER

NORM GRATTON
(1971-1972)
  Born: Dec 22 - 1950  
  Pos: Left Wing  
  GP: 3  
  G: 0  
  A: 1  
  Pts: 1  
  PIMs: 0  
 
Henrik Lundqvist has had a strong start

Homeward Bound
Posted by Toby Ivey ≡ 9:44:03 PM - October 25, 2011

This Thursday the Rangers will finally get to do something they haven't done so far this season - play a game on home ice.  It's been an up and down start to the season, but what could easily have been an unmitigated disaster has proven to be an above par showing.

In the seven games the Rangers have played to date, they've gone 3-2-2, to be a point over .500 and relatively well positioned for their ensuing six game homestand which include five teams with a record that is worse - on a points per game percentage - than the Rangers.

The lone exception is the Toronto Maple Leafs, who'll join the Rangers for opening night on home ice.  The Leafs have gotten off to a surprising 5-2-1 start thanks in large part to Phil Kessel and last year's wunderkind in net, James Reimer.

Kessel has an incredible 15 points in his first 8 games, including 9 goals, while Riemer is 4-0-1 and is yet to lose in regulation.  But once the Rangers get past the Leafs, they will square off against teams with a combined record of 13-21-3, and only one team - Anaheim 4-3-0 - with more wins than losses.

There's points to be had, if only the Rangers can figure out their own offense.  Henrik Lundqvist, and more recently Martin Biron, have both been stellar in net.  The play of the netminders, perhaps the single biggest reason why the Rangers have any points, let alone the eight they garnered from their massive road trip.

This was particularly on display during their four game trip through Western Canada, when they outscored their opponents 9-5 while being outshot 130-95.  The high shot total no doubt contributed to by the absence of Marc Staal and Mike Sauer - the latter set to return soon - and perhaps the lengthy travel.

As for the offense, it's about getting a lead.  The Rangers are 3-0-0 when scoring first, and 0-2-2 when the opposition scores.  Slow starts have really hurt the Rangers, who are yet to lead a game after the first period.

As for individual contributors, there have been few positives with Marian Gaborik's four goals and the two contributed by Brandon Prust perhaps the only highlights.

On the top line, Derek Stepan and Brad Richards have only one goal between them - albeit a point earning goal from Richards in the second game of the season.

Richards has kept the points ticking over by setting up Gaborik, while Stepan - who joined the line in game three, has shown promise, but is yet to show the finishing.

If the first line is only luke warm, then the second line is stone cold.  Artem Anisimov has not translated his strong pre-season play into results to date, and both he and linemate Brandon Dubinsky are yet to score a goal.  Anisimov has not been able to hold the puck in the offensive zone, and has generated few, if any real scoring chances.  The strength on the puck has not been evident, and he's not putting himself into a position to generate chances.

Dubinsky by contrast is perhaps trying to much, and needs to get back to simply putting the puck on the net.  Ten shots in seven games is simply not enough, and he's unlikely to turn things around for he and his linemates until he gets back to the basics.

As for the newly annointed captain, his 26 shots on net are second only to Gaborik - with 28 - but his intensity has not been as high since the opening game when he registered almost half his shot total to date.  His two goals place him second on the team, and it's hoped that last night's fortunate deflection will help kickstarthis game.

On the third line, Ruslan Fedotenko surprisingly leads the team in points, and played perhaps his best game of the season in Winnipeg where he registered his first goal.  Brandon Prust's two goals also has been a positive early in the season, though Brian Boyle will be disappointed with just one goal and eight shots on net.

Of the remaining forwards, the trio of Mats Zuccarello - since sent down - Wojtek Wolski and Erik Christensen have been disappointing.  Mike Rupp actually has more goals than the three of them combined. despite playing three fewer games.  Kris Newbury is a classic fourth liner but is not going to contribute many goals.

From the blueline, only Ryan McDonagh has picked up goals so far, though Dan Girardi - three assists - and Michael Del Zotto - 2 assists - are starting to get a few more shots toward the net.

Defensively the Rangers need more puck possession to help rebalance the equation.  That starts with staying out of the box like they did in Winnipeg, but it also means getting the forecheck and power plays going.  Holding onto the puck, and getting offensive pressure will alleviate things at the other end of the ice.  Lundqvist and Biron are not going to be able to keep this pace up all season, and will need to find a way to face fewer quality shots.

The return home will give the Rangers an added boost.  They'll finally get to sleep in their own beds, practice at the familiar Greenburgh facility and leverage the support of the home crowd.  They'll also get the last change for the first time this season, and finally begin getting into the normal swing of what to date has been a hectic season.



Profile of the Author:
Has been an active follower of the New York Rangers since the 1996-97 season. Began OutsideTheGarden.com in 2001, and has continued to collect data and provide analysis on the team through to the current day.

 Additional stories from Toby Ivey:


YOUR COMMENTS

 
December 10th, 2018
TAMPA BAY TIMES FORUM
  1 2 3 T
2 0 1 3
1 2 3 6
FIRST PERIOD: 1. NYR Hayes (Strome,Namestnikov) NYR 1-0   2. TBL Stamkos (Hedman,Miller) Tied 1-1   3. NYR Hayes (Vesey) NYR 2-1    SECOND PERIOD: 4. TBL Stamkos (Hedman,Point) Tied 2-2   5. TBL Mcdonagh (Point,Kucherov) TBL 3-2    THIRD PERIOD: 6. TBL Cirelli (Cernak) TBL 4-2   7. TBL Stamkos (Palat,Coburn) TBL 5-2   8. NYR Fast (Chytil) NYR 3-5   9. TBL Cirelli (Killorn,Miller) TBL 6-3   
Boxscore Game Thread
  HEADLINES
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More news...
  NEXT GAMES
Friday Dec 14th
7:00pm - Home

Sunday Dec 16th
12:30pm - Home

Tuesday Dec 18th
7:00pm - Home

Saturday Dec 22nd
7:00pm - Road

Sunday Dec 23rd
7:00pm - Home

Thursday Dec 27th
7:00pm - Home

Saturday Dec 29th
7:00pm - Road

Monday Dec 31st
7:00pm - Road

Complete Schedule
  STANDINGS
  Team GP W L OT Pts  
  Lightning 32 24 7 1 49  
  Maple Leafs 30 20 9 1 41  
  Sabres 30 17 9 4 38  
  Capitals 29 17 9 3 37  
  Bruins 30 16 10 4 36  
  Blue Jackets 29 16 11 2 34  
  Canadiens 30 15 10 5 35  
  Islanders 29 14 11 4 32  
  Penguins 29 13 10 6 32  
  Red Wings 31 14 13 4 32  
  Rangers 30 14 13 3 31  
  Hurricanes 28 13 11 4 30  
  Senators 31 13 14 4 30  
  Panthers 28 11 11 6 28  
  Flyers 28 12 13 3 27  
  Devils 29 10 13 6 26  
FULL STANDINGS

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