Rangers Vs. Devils: Panic Level Rising, But Should It Be?

Drew Hallowell

Don't panic, but you can be concerned.

You all know me by now. I think the biggest problem most of you have with me (aside from the fact that this blog is run like a kingdom, and you are all peasants -- including you, Dig) is that I'm too positive. I'll admit, I'm a positive person when it comes to sports. I've always been that way, so it just kind of seeps into this site since, well, I run the place.

Let me first say that I understand the frustration, I really do. I get the overwhelming feeling to slam your fits onto the table and demand change. Trust me.

But (here comes the positive thinking) I also truly believe these aren't the real New York Rangers. At least not yet. I get the whole "no excuses" thing, but missing three of your top nine -- or maybe even top six -- forwards isn't exactly a recipe for success. And as much as you guys rag on Michael Del Zotto, my guess is you'd rather see him out there than Justin Falk.

Missing Rick Nash, Carl Hagelin and Ryan Callahan hurts, too. Those aren't one-dimensional players. All of them are good in all three zones, and they also add some offense, which the Rangers sorely need. This team had gotten bit by the injury bug early on. It happens. It's happening to the Rangers right now, and they're suffering because of it. That's normal.

Now, I also understand the Devils were without two of their better players, and the Rangers showed very little signs of life all game Saturday. I also understand that goaltending is something of an issue, and that was expected to be one of this team's biggest strengths.

The Rangers need a shake up right now. But it should come from the AHL ranks (Danny Kristo and Chris Kreider have been impressing) rather than via trade. The Rangers have assets in Hartford that can help add a little punch to this punchless team.

Should you be panicking? No. It's fine to have some major concerns, though. But at the end of the day, it's still just seven games with an injury-ridden team.

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