Rangers Vs. Blue Jackets: Still Not Panicking

  • Until Alain Vigneault dresses his best lineup (maybe, if he ever dresses his best lineup), and the team continues to struggle there’s no reason to panic. The Rangers aren’t getting blown out of the water in these losses, they’re simply not finishing, running with bad puck luck, making predictably defensive mistakes, and running a fine line on the possession game. Even so, a 1-4 start looks a lot worse on paper than it does in real life. The Rangers were 16-18 the year they went to the Final, remember,
  • I suppose this is where I go on a rant about how the Rangers defense needs to be better as a whole. You can argue (as many are) that the Rangers’ biggest problem is scoring goals. Sure. But Tony DeAngelo has a ripple effect. He’s an outstanding PP2 option, that pushes that unit to the danger level of the first group, which adds offense. He can move the puck out of his own zone, which adds offense. If you’re going to deal with the bad mistakes from Nick Holden and Steven Kampfer then why are you not dealing with them from a guy who is younger, better, and has significantly more potential?
  • You could make the case the Rangers should have beaten Colorado or St. Louis. You can’t make that call against the Blue Jackets, who controlled possession for most of the game and kept all but two Rangers’ players below the 50% Mason Dixon Line. Scoring chances was a similar disaster. Not a great game from anyone.
  • And when will that change? As much as poor talent evaluation is an AV staple, so is these slow starts (and I don’t mean to a season). The Rangers have so rarely played a full 60 minutes since 2014, and yet we haven’t seen much of anything to change that. In three years. But you know, clean slates and all.
  • Henrik Lundqvist continues to be not the problem. This, at the very least, should be somewhat comforting; since watching Lundqvist stand on his head and still lose is something we’re all used to.
  • I think that goal is going to get Kevin Hayes going, and tweeted as much last night. However, I’m recanting on that. Until he’s no longer used as a shutdown center, he’s not going to find the space to put up offense. Then he’ll get blamed for not being good enough and then we’ll all do this dance over and over again.
  • J.T. Miller has had about as bad a start to the year as possible for him. Rick Nash isn’t a 40 goal scorer anymore and the minute you figure that out you’ll stop complaining about him to the world. Remember when everyone in the media told us last year Jimmy Vesey was a better player than Pavel Buchnevich (who was outstanding Friday night)?
  • Can’t say I’ve been in love with the offense from Michael Grabner -- but I told you all that was going to happen and no one listened to me.
  • Quick recap here. Rangers go right back at it against New Jersey tonight. /