After a gut-wrenching yet spirited loss in Game 7 to the Washington Capitals just two days ago, it is time to move on. It is tough, I know, and I also know that some of you might not be ready; but believe me it will be the best thing for all of us if we start looking forward as soon as possible. The expectations were high, and they grew even higher after the first ten games, but now that another chapter in the Rangers on-ice history is over, it is up to the management to decide what to do with this squad.
I'm pretty sure that if you asked any Ranger fan what they thought was wrong with this year's Ranger team; they would point to the 28th ranked offense that registered 2.44 goals per game in the regular season. Well that is exactly what I ended up doing, actually. I put a poll up on the Rangers forum of HF Boards around 4:45 PM EST on Wednesday, and as of 9:15 PM EST, the results looked like this:
Well, I think that is pretty straightforward. A call for arms; the best offense is a good defense. In short, the Blueshirt Faithful want goals, and being a member, I have to agree. Henrik Lundqvist has proved to us for the third straight playoff year that he can perform in the clutch. Essentially, the Rangers have the equivalent to a Cy Young Award winner starting 70+ games every season, but getting little run support in a league where offense is on the rise. How the Rangers will go about this will unfold as the playoffs finish up and the rumor mill starts to churn. But the message is loud and clear from Ranger fans; this team needs scoring.
The great thing about being just plain awful in one portion of your game is that it is very clear what needs to be worked on between seasons. Unless Henrik Lundqvist and Stephen Valiquette decide to quit hockey and pursue lives in painting (You never know...), the goaltending situation is set as always. The core of our roster that made our team defense so good will be back as well, so we shouldn't expect a dip there. What will be the key will be who the Rangers bring in to provide a legitimate offensive threat that teams will actually have to worry about every night. Along with this, given John Tortorella keeps his job, a full offseason and preseason under Torts' new system should also make a difference in the offensive zone.
So with all that said, I pose the same question to our readers here. What do you think Rangers management should focus on? Feel free to elaborate your early offseason feelings in the comments as well.