The New York Rangers have gotten off to a slow start this year, causing both concern and panic from the Rangers faithful. And while it's not yet time to be demanding John Tortorella's head or a team-wide overhaul, there are more questions than answers right now for the New York Rangers.
It's alarming that the team hasn't been able to put together a complete effort yet this year. There have been games where the Rangers have played well in spurts, like dominating the first period of the loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but it needs to be a consistent effort.
Fatigue can still be pinpointed as a cause, even though the Rangers have been at home the past three days, but that excuse is beginning to wear thin. By the time the Rangers suit up to play the Ottawa Senators Saturday afternoon they should have fully recovered from the grueling road trip to start the season.
Join me after the jump for more.
One of the biggest issues the Rangers have ran into thus far is a lack of consistent offense. There have been flashes in games where the Rangers look lethal in the offensive zone, no matter who has the puck. But those flashes have been fleeting, and for the most part the Rangers have lacked possession in the offensive zone.
Some of that has to do with Brad Richards still learning his teammates styles of play. This offense runs through Richards when he is on the ice, and it was expected to take some time to develop. While Richards and Marian Gaborik have shown a budding chemistry, players like Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, Derek Stepan and Artem Anisimov have gotten off to slow starts.
It's unfortunate that the Rangers entire means of secondary scoring has gotten off to a slow start at the same time. While it's bad, for obvious reasons, it also can't last forever. All four players have shown some improvement the past two games, but the offense has stalled without them.
Despite the slow start, I don't understand people saying that John Tortorella has lost this team. He hasn't. Yes, this team has gotten off to a slow start and they aren't playing Tortorella hockey right now, that much is obvious. But there have been some positives.
The Rangers power play is starting to look a little better, and has actually started to score some goals. We're starting to see some real development from Michael Del Zotto, Tim Erixon and especially Ryan McDonagh. In spurts, the Rangers have looked like the team we expected them to be this year, it just hasn't happened for a full game yet.
Thing will turn around, I'm not anywhere near jumping ship. It just needs to happen sooner rather than later.