After the first two games it’s safe to say that the Rangers are going to fun yet frustrating to watch. I know it’s early, but after the Nashville and Buffalo games there are a few things that are just killing the Rangers.
Creating second chance opportunities. This is an absolute must if you want to score goals in the NHL. It’s extremely difficult to score off that first chance. Only a few elite players can do it consistently game in and game out. Unfortunately the Rags do not have that talent just yet. Too many times the Rangers get an opportunity and then the other team gathers the puck and gets out of the zone. It’s the reason why Hutton was able to win a 40+ save game against them.
Here is what I would like to see. I want to see more players getting the puck deep and winning battles down low. Keeping the puck below the dots and let our speedy, gritty forwards create space (or draw penalties) for opportunities for our defense to get some shots. A perfect example was Fast’s goal against Nashville. That shift was textbook and resulted in a pretty goal. But after that shot the forwards need to Crash the net in the high low presence so we can win the second chance battle to score or create another chance. I hope this comes with time with the younger players. A glimpse of this was seen last night having the net front presence with Howden getting his first career NHL goal.
Penalty Kill. This is so annoying to watch. Last year the PK seemed so much more aggressive and it was successful. The Rags are giving their opponents too much time and space before they pressure the puck. Granted the goals they gave up were a result of poor decision making last night….Vesey not getting the puck deep and Zibanejed taking the worst angle I have ever seen.
This PK needs an adjustment. Let’s pressure right away. Suffocate the puck and don’t let the opponent feel comfortable in our zone and let their mistakes become our best friend. What we are doing now isn’t working and if we want to win games, we cannot have a piss poor penalty kill because our goals will be of a premium.
Bench Management. I don’t want to attack pretty boy Quinn just yet because I think he is doing a pretty good job so far. But I will attack when I think attacking is needed. WHY THE FUCK WAS MCLEOD OUT ON THE ICE WITH 7 MINUTES LEFT BEING DOWN BY 2???????? 14 seasons in the NHL and he has 71 career goals. That’s 5 goals a season. And spare me the bullshit of he serves the purpose of protection and blah blah blah. Not with 7 minutes left and certainly not when we are down by 2. Tighten up the bench and get the guys that can get the puck deep, get the puck, draw penalties with speed, and put the fucking puck in the net. AV did this with Glass constantly and it doesn’t work. Last night Dahlin must’ve been laughing seeing that match up. Might be the worst player he’s gone up against in last 5 years of his playing career.
Easy fix. If you’re down by any amount and want to win. Don’t play your worst player with under 10 minutes to go. Give yourself a chance.
Today at 5pm the Rags take on Carolina. Beatable team but it is going to be tough. Carolina is a solid team. Hopefully we can steal two points today.