What is Wrong with the Rangers?
By Patrick Hoffman
For the last several seasons, the New York Rangers have been one of the most consistent clubs in the National Hockey League.
Year in and year out, they make the postseason, post over 100 points, get goal scoring up and down the lineup and in general, are a tough team to beat.
That has been different through 10 games this season. At 2-6-2, the team currently finds themselves second to last in the Eastern Conference and in 28th place in the entire league.
There are several reasons why the team has struggled out of the gate this season. For starters, their franchise goaltender, Henrik Lundqvist, is off to a terrible start.
In nine games, the "King" is 2-4-2 with a bloated 3.11 goals against average and a low .900 save percentage. He has looked slow, is playing way too deep in his crease, and has look disappointed not only in himself, but in the team in front of him.
Secondly, with the exception of Mika Zibanejad (six goals), the team is struggling to find the back of the net on a consistent basis. The team is 14th in the league with 26 goals scored this season, with players such as Rick Nash (one goal), Chris Kreider (one goal), Michael Grabner (one goal), Pavel Buchnevich (one goal) Mats Zuccarello (two goals), and J.T. Miller (two goals) all having difficulty putting the puck in the net with any kind of regularity.
Defensively, this team has been a horror show. With 36 goals allowed in 10 games, the team is second to last in the league in that category. The team coughs up the puck on multiple occasions throughout each game, does not help out Lundqvist or back-up goaltender Ondrej Pavelec, and generally struggles to make smart decisions.
You put all these things together and it leads exactly to where the Rangers are right now. If things do not change in a hurry, a big change might be needed in order to right this ship.
Previously, Patrick has covered the NHL for Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, About.com, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.