I suppose it's reasonable that there is some backlash after the New York Rangers went 0-0-2 in their two European regular season games this weekend, but I wasn't expecting all the panic.
In fact, I would argue that it's a good sign that the Rangers are walking away from Europe with two points. New York came out flat, got nothing done on the power play and were overwhelmed in their own zone for long stretches; and they still managed to force both games to overtime. Brad Richards has played exactly as advertised, Henrik Lundqvist is playing as well as any goaltender in the league, Marian Gaborik has been dangerous and Dan Girardi has filled Marc Staal's shoes well.
With that being said, the way the Rangers played is still unacceptable. There are a few things John Tortorella is going to have to focus on this week in practice, but the main concern has to be the power play. The Rangers went 0-for-7 with the man advantage Saturday, which amplifies the fact that the Rangers only managed to muster 15 shots on goal.
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Aside from the power play, the main concern has to be the lack of shots. Richards is supposed to help the Rangers become more dangerous offensively, and thus far that has only lead to three goals in two games. Again, it's just two games, but it's certianly a point that can't go unnoticed.
Even with all the issues, there are still positives to be taken from the past two games.
Michael Del Zotto looked solid in the two games, and showed signs of improvement. Ryan McDonagh really showed off both sides of his game, highlighted by his jaw-dropping pass to Richards for his goal against the Anaheim Ducks. He also made a brilliant play with his stick defending a Los Angeles Kings' three-on-one.
The chemistry Richards and Gaborik are expected to generate can't be expected in the first two games of the season, although the two showed a few flashes of brilliance during the two games. And, as I have said before, Brandon Dubinsky hasn't looked out of place at all on the top line.
In the end, I think playing back in North America will do wonders for the Rangers game. Either way, there is absolutely no need for panic after just two games of the year.