Though this video has been available on YouTube for what seems like forever, it just never gets old. It is one of the rare videos taken during a dark time in New York Rangers history that you can just watch over and over again and still laugh your head off. The date was Wednesday, November 5, 1997, and the Rangers were off to a mediocre start in what would be the first of seven consecutive seasons without a trip to the playoffs. They had taken a 4-1 lead at Madison Square Garden on the perennial-contending Colorado Avalanche on goals by Wayne Gretzky, Pat LaFontaine, Kevin Stevens, and Niklas Sundstrom, with Mike Richter in goal. Time was running out in the third period, and legendary Avalanche goaltender Patrick Roy was not about to let the game end as dismally as it had been played. So, with just under four minutes to go in the game, the puck drifted down into his end, and he took it. Rather than passing it off and leaving it for a teammate, he decided to go for a little waltz down Broadway, turning a game that no one would ever remember into a memory of a lifetime. Let’s have a look:
Coming off a huge win over the Phoenix Coyotes, when Brad Richards scored the game-winning goal with .1 seconds remaining to give the New York Rangers the win and snap a two-game losing streak, the team finds themselves down a defenseman yet again, as Steve Eminger took a check and went shoulder first into the boards during the second period. While we do not know what exactly is wrong, we do know that he left the arena with his arm in a sling, and by looking at the replay, it seems as if he might have separated his shoulder. Severe or not, the Rangers are in a bind. Marc Staal has been out the entire season with post-concussion syndrome and Michael Sauer, more recently, suffered a concussion as well. The Rangers, who, at the beginning of the season, had one of the best defensive depths in the league, are now losing that by the game.
I very rarely write pregame articles, but a few things happened today that are worth mentioning, especially since they serve as the overture to tonight’s feature film; Game Two between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals. To briefly give my thoughts on Game One, all I can say is that the fault cannot be blamed on any one player. Should Staal have cleared the puck better in overtime that lead to the Semin goal? Yes. Could Lundqvist have stopped the slapshot that was from the high-slot area with no one in front? Yes. But the fact of the matter is, the Rangers scored one goal, and that is the reason why they lost. To go around nit-picking or trying to blame someone here and there is pointless.
The Rangers had a glorious opportunity to create scoring chances and up the pressure against a rookie goalie in his first playoff game. One would think they would have learned from the last time they played the Capitals in a playoff series, when they let then-rookie Semyon Varlamov beat them. They did not have many chances, and I don’t think Michael Neuvirth had to make more than one or two difficult stops. Yes, the Rangers worked hard and hung with the Capitals defensively, but let us remember that the Rangers actually scored more goals on the season than the Capitals. Though they do not have the names to intimidate, the Rangers should have scored more than one goal.
On to today, I was reading the New York Post this morning, and after about a week, I still do not know why New Jersey Devils’ writer Mark Everson is covering the Rangers’ playoff run. Not only is he a mediocre writer when covering his actual team, but he proves to be completely biased when covering the Rangers. He is just as qualified to cover them as I am to cover the Colorado Avalanche. He takes little jabs at the Blueshirts every chance he gets, and basically makes it up as he goes along. He holds true to the fact that Devils’ fans care more about the Rangers’ demise than their own team winning. The inferiority complex was in full effect when he wrote this, taken from this morning’s issue:
It was the Bolshoi dancer turning the physical tables on coach John Tortorella’s gulag workers, a pre-emptive strike that set the tone for the Caps’ dominance in Game 1. The fancier Caps kept up the early hitting on the visiting Rangers, the team supposed to be the bruisers.
(Please note: Everson, in trying to make himself sound intelligent, has referred to Alex Ovechkin as a “Bolshoi dancer” and the Rangers’ actual team as “gulag workers”. Somehow, I don’t think it worked.)
First of all, “Caps’ dominance”? Marky Marky Mark, did you even watch the game that remained scoreless until Matt Gilroy scored two minutes in to the third period? Exactly what dominance was there by the Washington Capitals who mustered up 33 shots in almost four periods of play, to win 2-1 in overtime? And in reference to the “fancier Caps”, again, I did not see any of this finesse for the entire game. The Rangers’ defense kept them to the outside and the only goal in regulation they scored was a meat-and-potatoes crease jam that sent the puck trickling over the goal line through about only six inches of open space that Lundqvist had between his legs. Mr Everson, you are an idiot. Stick to writing about the New Jersey team that no one gives two shits about. Case closed.
Now, finally, what would be a playoff series without John Tortorella and Larry Brooks going at it? You would think that after all these years, the two would have learned to co-exist, or at least Tortorella ignoring him or trying to find some way to deal with it. Brooks has been around forever, I get that. He deserves to be respected, but sometimes, in exchanges like this, I just shake my head. Brooks does try to goad Tortorella into giving answers he does not want to give. He pushes his buttons and sometimes he hits the right combination. This is all highly entertaining, but it is extremely unprofessional and does not need to be the elephant in the room during a very important playoff series. Below is the drama:
As for tonight’s game, once again, no predictions. Just try to relax and have some fun. Personally, I am not yet worried about being down in the series, because the Rangers did have a 3-1 lead on them two seasons ago, and we all remembered what happened then. Sean Avery will be back in the lineup tonight as well. What this will do, I have no idea. If a forward who scored three goals in 76 regular season games is going to be the savior, then the Rangers have bigger problems than they thought. Perhaps, it is because Neuvirth called Brandon Dubinsky the “new Avery”, because the two were jabbing at each other in Game One, and the Rangers want to give the goaltender a taste of the real Avery. Who knows? All we can hope for is a quarter of what his spark used to be like, and please, no stupid penalties.
Other than a stay at home defenseman, the New York Rangers will be looking to add a number one center at this season’s trade deadline. There are three names that come to mind with who the Rangers could acquire, two of which should be very familiar with you by now, if you have been following the online rumor mills; Brad Richards on Dallas or Paul Stastny on Colorado seem to be Glen Sather’s top targets, while the Rangers should not rule out winger Ales Hemsky of the Edmonton Oilers as a possibility, because let us remember, Sather only trades with familiar teams. But first, let’s take a look at the dilemma facing the Rangers, and that is which ever center they acquire will be set up for disaster.
It is not easy to succeed in New York, we all know that, but with such a testy and skeptical fan base of late, maybe the Rangers should just wait until the summer to make their move. We cannot forget Scott Gomez, who the Rangers traded two summers ago, to Montreal, a move which allowed the Rangers to afford signing Marian Gaborik. In Gomez’s first season as a Ranger, he scored 16 goals and put up 54 assists for 70 points. First line center numbers, wouldn’t you say? What did the fan base do? Booed. The next season, Gomez struggled and scored less, but still scored higher than his career average with 58 points. What did fans do then? Booed even louder. Granted, his contract was anything but appealing, but still, Gomez did exactly what he had been doing his whole career, but because Rangers fans cannot get it through their heads that players do not automatically score three times their career average after signing here, whoever the Rangers get will be doomed to fail, regardless of how they play. That said, here are the Rangers three most likely options for center:
Brad Richards (UFA after this season, 2010/11 salary: $7.8 million)
We all know that the Rangers want to bring Richards aboard, just like we all know there have been trade talks between the two teams. Because Dallas seems to want half the Rangers farm system in exchange for a player that we know is not going to sign there next season, talks were stalled. However, if the Rangers properly call their bluff, they can have him for cheap. I would offer Christensen, Gilroy, Grachev, and a 2nd round pick: take it or leave it. Gilroy is expendable, Grachev has not impressed, and Christensen needs a psychiatrist, so I would say the Rangers win that deal. Richards is the only center that can come to this team and spark right off the bat, because he is a star (he may even be able to jump-start Gaborik). As long as his concussion is not a serious issue, I think the Rangers will find a way to acquire him. Don’t be fooled, the Rangers will find a way to manage their cap space and rob Dallas.
Paul Stastny (Current contract: four more years, cap hit $6.6 million)
Because of the amount of money and years on his contract, I think the Rangers would stay away. There was a rumor last week that the Rangers wanted Stastny and Liles, but plans fell through. The Rangers would have had to add more than $10 million in salary with that deal, so I would say it is either one or the other. While Stastny is an upgrade over every center the Rangers have, because of his age, he would command a lot more in terms of youth (probably what Dallas wanted originally); I would not even know what to propose, even if just for fun—it’s a tricky situation.
Winger Option: Ales Hemsky (Current contract: one more year, cap hit $5 million)
Let me start off by saying that the only reason I even mention him is because I need a third player to throw in this preview, and because Sather has ties to the Oilers and loves reclamation projects. Hemsky is a walking injury who has never played a full season (he’s been in the league since 2002) and is coming off a year where he played only 22 games. Granted, he has been decent in his last few seasons, in regards to points-per-game, but would you really want him on a line with Gaborik? The Rangers would have to bring back Tie Domi for protection and hire an on-ice maid to sweep away the glass and bone chips. Hemsky would be fresh meat the minute he donned a jersey, and fans would never let him hear the end of it. But there is a bright side, he and Gaborik could keep each other company in the hospital.
Honorable mention: Keith Tkachuk
Just for nostalgia’s sake, what would a deadline be without a Tkachuk rumor?
All in all, the next two days should be a lot of fun, with the deadline coming at 3pm on Monday. You will notice I have made no predictions this year, just suggestions, because my accuracy rating usually comes in at about 10%, religiously every season. I do not see the Rangers just standing pat, even if it is the right thing to do. Sather is working on something big, it is just a matter of it falling through or not.
Looks like someone owes Don Maloney a nice steak dinner at Ruth’s Chris.
This is breaking news, as the New York Rangers have traded defenseman Michal Rozsival to the Phoenix Coyotes for left-wing Wojtek Wolski. This is a trade that is completely mind-boggling to me, at least from the Coyotes end as Rozsival is a struggling defenseman who has a cap-hit of $5 million dollars while Wolski is a young, sizable forward with a hit of only $3.8 million.
Wolski has been struggling this season as well, nearly as bad as Alex Frolov was. In 36 games this season, he has only six goals and ten assists for 16 points, but the 24-year-old will provide much more than that, he will serve as cap relief. The Rangers pick up an additional $1.2 million here, combined with approximately $1.5 million they lost due to Frolov’s injury. It’s funny that the Rangers lose these two players, but their needs stay exactly the same. The team sorely lacks a veteran defenseman who can eat up minutes, and a playmaking center. These were the same needs they had with both Frolov and Rozsival in the lineup. The Rangers now have some flexibility to try to pursue these types of players.
I do not know much about Wolski, but I would like to think that he can provide what Frolov didn’t, and that’s secondary scoring. His large six-foot, three-inch frame could be a welcome sight on the top line with Gaborik, or even on the second line. Chris Hoeler, a Coyotes fan, tells me that he is not a checker, so his is either a top-six forward or bust.
Just as a warning, do not expect much out of Wolski. He has already fallen out of favor on two different teams, and actually has only one more point than Rozsival, who put up three goals and 12 assists in four fewer games. In other words, see this move as cap relief and not the solution to an offensive problem.
As much as everyone loved to hate on Rozsival, he really was not that bad and if they cannot acquire a veteran defenseman at some point this season, trading his presence may cause more harm than good. He has his slip-ups, like we all do, but he was basically made scapegoat for some bad teams in the past few years. He had an excellent shot from the point which he did not use enough, and combined with his slower stride and susceptibility to giveaways, made him an easy target for the fan base. I won’t miss him, but it could come back to bite the team. In 432 games with the Rangers, he scored 42 goals and recorded 134 assists for 176 points; he was also a +44. Those are not bad numbers at all.
We will just have to wait and see how the deal works out. If the Rangers acquire a defenseman, then it is a win-win situation. If they don’t, then this may not be the amazing trade that we all think it is.
Glen Sather has now gotten rid of three of the four terrible contracts that people thought would forever plague this franchise. For a GM as smart as he is, in orchestrating such deals, it’s amazing that he even signed them to begin with.
Marian Gaborik spent eight seasons with the Minnesota Wild, and in the meantime, set records for virtually every offensive category in the franchise’s history. Aside from Jacques Lemaire, Gaborik was the face of that franchise during his tenure there. Tonight was the first time he would get a chance to face his former team, after being injured last season when the New York Rangers faced them. The promotion for tonight’s game was a Marian Gaborik bobblehead, and although that was to pay tribute to him, the fans were a little less kind, booing his name when it was announced for the starting lineups, and then some additional scattered boos when he touched the puck.
For the Rangers, though, tonight they got a very important and much needed bounce-back victory after playing what was arguably their worst game of the season last night in Colorado. The Rangers would get a solid team effort and pull out a decent 5-2 road win in Minnesota.
The Rangers and Wild got off to a slow start, with an uneventful first period that heard some aforementioned jeers directed at Gaborik. But the player known for his finesse and skill showed a bit of an edge early on, with a big hit just seconds in on Greg Zanon, and another one later on. The Rangers would go 0-1 on the powerplay in the first, continuing their struggles, and leave the period scoreless.
In the second period, the Rangers would blow the game open. Artem Anisimov (7) would score a little less than nine minutes in on assists from Matt Gilroy and Mike Sauer. The Rangers would then get their third powerplay of the game, and snap an 0 for 17 streak when Michael Del Zotto (2) shot the puck into a wide open net past goaltender Niklas Backstrom. Derek Stepan fed him with an excellent cross ice pass to continue his recent hot streak, and Dan Girardi would add a secondary assist on the play. Then with one minute remaining, Dan Girardi would take a shot from the point that missed the net (or was it intentional?) and landed on the tape of Alex Frolov’s (5) stick, who finally succeeded in scoring a wraparound goal, a move he tries at least five times a game to no avail. Marian Gaborik would end up with the secondary assist, his first point against his former team.
Early on in the third, Brandon Dubinsky (12) would pretty much ice the game with an unassisted breakaway goal. Eight minutes later, with the Rangers on another powerplay, the puck would come out of the zone to Kyle Brodziak, who skated over the red line with Del Zotto attempting to hip check him, but missed, allowing Brodziak to come in 2 on 1 with Matt Cullen, who buried the puck behind Martin Biron to get the Wild on the board. The Rangers would quickly counter with a Ruslan Fedotenko (4) goal, off assists from Brian Boyle and Brandon Prust. For Boyle, this would be his first assist of the season, to add to his eight goals. The game would end with the Rangers victorious, in a desperately needed win to stop a losing streak before it could expand.
Martin Biron played decent until the second goal he allowed to the Wild, scored by Martin Havlat. It was from a bad angle and between his glove and the post, and it was one he should have had. Nevertheless, he was solid and did not have to be that good as the Rangers rallied around him and played some good defense. Del Zotto would unfortunately continue his sloppy play, taking a penalty in the third and making a bad decision that directly led to Minnesota’s first goal of the game.
For Marian Gaborik, this was also an important win as he finally got a chance to face his former team. He only had one assist, but played very physical and had four shots on goal. The Rangers will now get ready for a game against the struggling Calgary Flames Monday night. Expect Lundqvist to be in net, after getting the night off tonight.
For John Tortorella, tonight’s game was his 300th NHL win.
For a while I thought about not even doing a post-game recap for tonight’s game. After all, if they didn’t show up, why should I? Nevertheless, I decided to show a little bit more effort than the New York Rangers did in tonight’s horrible and downright lackluster showing against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. I really feel bad for those who have to get up early tomorrow, who stayed up late to watch this disgusting effort.
Though the Rangers were technically tied with the Avalanche for the entire first period, they were never really in this game. They struggled to get simple shots through, let alone create scoring chances. They seemed to be three steps behind Colorado for the whole evening, and looked like they were skating through mud. With the game scoreless heading into the second, David Jones would score for the Avalanche just over a minute in.
From there on out, the “avalanche” of goals came crashing down on the Rangers. Kevin Porter scored six minutes after that, followed by Matt Duchene with just less than eight minutes remaining in the middle period. The third goal would prompt Tortorella to pull Lundqvist and replace him with Martin Biron, who would not fare much better. But Lundqvist was downright awful tonight, as each of the three goals he allowed on 16 shots were questionable, with two of them able to be considered soft.
The Avalanche would then add two more against Biron, one more in the second by Kevin Shattenkirk, a native of New York, and then one by Daniel Winnik in the third. The Rangers would erase Craig Anderson’s shutout with a meaningless goal six minutes into the final frame, when Derek Stepan snapped his 19 game goal scoring drought. He has now put up points in three out of his last four games, and was borderline their best player tonight, though no one stood out in a positive way.
As Brian Monzo said on Twitter, this was just one of those games when you just scratch your head. The Rangers were not just bad, they were awful. There was no flow to their game, and Anderson really only had to make one or two difficult stops the entire night. The Avalanche, meanwhile, did not look too amazing, but due to the fact that the Rangers were skating in circles, it made them look great. Not trying to take anything away from them, that’s just how bad the Rangers were tonight.
The powerplay was also disgraceful, as they went 0-5 and did not generate any scoring chances. I cannot even recall seeing a quality shot on goal during the ten minutes of man advantage time they had. The Rangers are a team that continues to play very streaky—some nights they look amazing, other nights they look like this. Perhaps they could have done without that 8-2 win over the Oilers last Sunday, as that got an awful lot of people excited.
This recap was kind of brief tonight, but there really is nothing left to say. The Rangers need to take a long, hard look at themselves and get their acts together, namely Del Zotto, who was on the ice for all four Colorado goals in the second period. This was both the team’s and his worst game of the season tonight. The Rangers will be in Minnesota tomorrow night to face the Wild in an important bounce-back game. If I were them, I would start Biron over Prince Lundqvist; the team seems to rally better around him.
If Alex Frolov was fifteen years younger, perhaps an Amber Alert would have been sent out. Teams of policemen would have been assembled to talk to the family about where young Alex may have ventured off to by himself, or worst case scenario, may have even been kidnapped. But this case is a little bit different—Alex Frolov is alive and well, and is making pretty good money to play a sport that he loves. My only question is, where did he go?
After strongly opposing his signing during the summer, the preseason gave me something to smile about as Frolov showed great chemistry with Marian Gaborik. But even when he was playing without him he still looked good. With Gaborik going down to injury, I did not bat an eye because I figured he would still be able to maintain his play. Maintain what, exactly? I do not know, because in the two games he played with Gaborik he did not look so hot.
The fact is, Frolov has been a missing-persons case since opening night. He started the season registering an assist in each of the first two games then went silent on the score sheet for two when he scored his first goal of the season, which was on a lucky bounce in itself. Frolov came down on a two-on-one in a game against Colorado and by the time he was near the crease he attempted to pass the puck and it hit off the defenseman’s skate and went into the net past Craig Anderson. Fluke goal #1.
His next goal came two night later in a game against Boston. With the puck bouncing all over the place, Frolov would get lucky. A shot was stopped by the Bruins goaltender and bounced up in the air, and with a lucky swing, Frolov batted the puck out of mid-air and into the net. Fluke goal #2.
Those are the only two times this season that Frolov has found his way onto the goals section of the stat sheet. He has not once shown anything at all that would make me think he is worth being on this team. I am not going to complain about his $3 million salary, because what he got was fair at the time—fair if he scores 25 goals this season, something the Rangers need him to do. But there is not one thing he has done this season that could not have been matched by a cheaper, younger forward from Hartford, such as Dale Weise had he not broken his hand.
Frolov is currently on pace for around 15 goals and 40 points. The Rangers can only live with those 40 points if 30 of them are goals (not likely), and if 15 goals is all he nets this season, then the Rangers are going to finish right where they did last season, out of the playoff picture. Comparisons have been drawn between him and Chris Higgins. These can be looked at partially, because both struggled to score. But at least Higgins had decent speed, a good work ethic, and was great on the penalty kill. Frolov’s skating ability has not caught my attention, his worth ethic is (obviously) questionable, and he does not kill penalties.
I think better comparisons can be drawn to Nikolai Zherdev, as in he is a player who has a tremendous amount of talent but only uses it from time to time. But so far this season, aside from two lucky goals, what has Frolov really shown us? Has he even created scoring chances? What we have here may be another case of a reclamation project gone wrong. The 30-goal scorer who the Rangers thought they were acquiring only put up 19 last year, yet we automatically expect him to correct it. Maybe it’s our fault. Nevertheless, I am not expecting 30 goals from him and never did. But 25 is not too much to ask, and if we don’t ask it, then we might as well not even bother watching this season.
Just a short post hell-bent on some revenge for tomorrow night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
All preseason long we heard the New York Rangers tell us how this season was not going to be like last. Aside from the obvious changes needed, such as an increase in scoring and more sound defense, the Rangers were going to work on team toughness and sticking up for one another. The main need for this toughness was on the blue line, and as the off-season ended, the Rangers made zero moves to improve their back line, with the exception of bringing in the well-traveled and oft-penalized for bad positioning defensmen, Steve Eminger.
But even so, the Rangers said they were going to get tougher. For forwards, they signed Derek Boogaard to an unheard of four-year deal which paid him more than the team’s second highest leading scorer from last season, Vinny Prospal. The reason for this was desperation—desperation for a player that can knock an opponent’s lights out at any given time, via a hit or punch.
Through six preseason games and four regular season games, this player, Derek Boogaard is yet to get into a single fight. I do not have a problem with this, because there is no player who would want to risk fighting the player some label as the best in the game in that department. Boogaard has played decent hockey, or at least better than Brashear, last year’s enforcer. He has laid some nice checks, but other than that, nothing else. This is not his fault, after all, he got two minutes of ice time in the last game against the hard-hitting Avalanche, even after Lundqvist was run repeatedly.
Tomorrow night, the Rangers will visit Toronto for a rematch with the Maple Leafs. It was on Friday night, during the Rangers’ home opener, that the Leafs handed the Rangers a 4-3 overtime loss, but even greater than that was the loss of Marian Gaborik for the next three weeks. Gaborik, the team’s offensive leader in every category last season, was checked from behind by Colby Armstrong in the second period, and he suffered a shoulder injury. Though Armstrong was penalized for the hit, that is not enough. The Rangers need to make Armstrong pay tomorrow night, that is, if they want people to think opponents will be dealing with a different team this season.
The Rangers have been Kleenex soft for more than two seasons now, and they need to act on this. I am not advocating a Bertuzzi-like response, but a simple bone crushing check and maybe a behind-the-ref dirty slash or two may do the trick. Armstrong is no angel himself, and I’m sure he can handle what the Rangers throw at him.
This would not even be a topic for discussion if it was not such a problem, but only four games into the season it already is. If the Rangers don’t show toughness now, they never will. It is time that the Blueshirts stop getting tossed around like a girl’s rag doll.
The New York Rangers needed a good defensive showing tonight against the Colorado Avalanche. For the first two periods, despite some sloppiness, it looked like that was what they were going to get. Then with the game tied at one in the third period, the Avalanche would net two goals in under thirty seconds to go up 3-1, and send the Rangers home with yet another frustrating loss.
For the first three games, despite their lackluster defense, the Rangers were getting solid goal scoring. However, with Marian Gaborik out with a shoulder injury, keeping up the pace that allowed them to score 13 goals in three games was not going to be easy. The Rangers are also missing Chris Drury after he re-injured himself in Friday’s home loss to Toronto, and Vinny Prospal, who has missed all but one preseason game and will be out the next six weeks, along with Drury.
The Avalanche got on the board first, with eight minutes to go in the first, when Chris Stewart would deflect a John Michael Liles shot from the point on the powerplay. Liles now leads the NHL in assists with eight. John Tortorella would call a timeout minutes later, with the Rangers skating in circles. The team would settle down, and then Alex Frolov would score his first of the season with under two minutes to go in the period. He came down in a two-on-one rush with Marc Staal, and he tried to pass the puck over in the crease, but it bounced in off an Avalanche defender to tie the game 1-1.
In a spurt of team toughness, Michael Del Zotto would attempt to scrap with T.J Galliardi, after he checked Dan Girardi, but the referees separated the two before punches could be thrown. Galliardi would get a boarding penalty while Del Zotto got two minutes for roughing. But the team toughness would end there, as Henrik Lundqvist was run into several times tonight. The Rangers promised that they would not stand for that this season like they did last year. Through four games this season, that promise has been an empty one. Maybe Derek Boogaard should have gotten more than 2:04 in ice time tonight.
After a scoreless and uneventful second period, that saw three Jekyll and Hyde like powerplays, the Rangers headed into the third period, sporting their best defensive effort of the season.
There would be a slow start to the end frame, but then the Avalanche would net two goals in the span of 26 seconds to take a 3-1 lead, and seal the deal for the Rangers. Chris Stewart would get his second of the game and fifth of the season, while Daniel Winnik would get his second of the season.
The Rangers went 0-5 on the powerplay tonight, something that definitely contributed to the loss. They looked really good on some, and awful on others. Both Michal Rozsival and Dan Girardi hit the post from the point, leaving juicy rebounds in front that the Rangers could not tee up. Rozsival really needs to shoot more, because when he does he creates chances, but unfortunately, he chooses to shoot all to often when there is a man on him, and passes when he is wide open.
Derek Stepan would get his first NHL assist tonight, on the Frolov goal. He too has remained quiet since his opening night breakout. Like I said after that game, I am not expecting him to be a star this season, but I would still pencil him in for 15-20 goals.
The Rangers are now 0-1-1 on home ice, with both performances being anything but grand. For a team that struggled on home ice last season and wanted to get better this time around, this is not the start they wanted. The Rangers will now travel to Toronto for a rematch with the Maple Leafs on Thursday. I want to see the offense we saw in the first three games, as well as better defense and some actual team toughness. Colby Armstrong should have to answer for his check that sent Gaborik to the sidelines for 2-3 weeks. If the Rangers choose to do nothing, then this will be the same team we saw last year—one that consistently gets tossed around like a bunch of rag dolls.
Photo credit: AP