Seems as though there is a contingent of Rangers fans who three games into the season are either jumping the gun and hoping for a trade to ‘shake things up’ or already have one foot over the edge looking to jump as if the season is completely lost. With Gaborik’s
groin exploding shoulder separated and out for somewhere between 10-15 games and Drury likely out a bit longer the Rangers are going to have to make adjustments and are going to be tested as a team early in the season. This is a blessing in disguise as we will know rather quickly whether the Rangers have what it takes to make an impact in the playoffs.
Yes without Gaborik the Rangers have what is essentially the same pop gun offense of two years ago; just replace one enigmatic Russian for another and add a few more years of maturity to other members of the offense. But what must be kept in perspective is the Rangers made the playoffs that year. They still have Henrik Lundqvist and they have enough depth in Hartford to get them through the next few weeks if needed. The Rangers will miss Drury down the middle but his penalty killing and leadership can be replaced for the time being by guys like Ryan Callahan and Brian Boyle.
There are 79 games left in the season so everyone take a frickin’ breather and relax. Hockey is a contact sport, injuries are a natural part of the game and every team will have to deal with them at some point during the season. What separates middle of the pack teams from playoff teams is how they face and combat adversity. If the Rangers have any cojones they will be above .500 by the time Gaborik returns. They need to take a play from the Islanders playbook (yes the Islanders) and learn to consistently out work their opponents and make a concerted effort to win the small individual battles. If they can do that, the Rangers will be just fine. Woe is me b.s accomplishes nothing.
A past coach once told me:
"Life sucks, adjust and overcome. "
That’s exactly what the Rangers will need to do.