Rangers Analysis: The Joy of Six
Some thoughts on the Rangers at the six game mark:
With all three teams having played six games, the Rangers have scored more goals than Washington or Pittsburgh.
The penalty kill is at 86.2%. Honestly, do you really miss Blair Betts all that much?
Or Freddie Sjostrom?
Ryan Callahan has been amazing. I think giving him the "A" has really elevated his game to another level. I don't just mean scoring and creating chances. He is doing all the little things you expect a leader to do.
The Rangers power play is currently 14th in the league. While that might not sound great, think about this: If the Rangers power play was 14th instead of 29th last season, things might have been different for them in the post season. 14th? I'll take it, and I think we all feel its going to be better than that.
Pauly D made an excellent point last night on his show: Del Zotto and Gilroy both started the season playing well. Del Zotto seems to have maintained his level, but Gilroy's play has dropped off somewhat. Something to keep an eye on as the season moves along.
More gibberish after the jump.......
We were all pretty hard on Wade Redden last season, and deservedly so, but it is nice to see him playing well. At this point, we all just need to separate the salary from his play, and judge him on that alone. The contract is what it is, and it's not going anywhere. As long as he is playing well, that's the best we can hope for.
Dan Girardi had 4 goals all of last season, and already has three in six games this year. Don't discount the empty netter against the Ducks either, that was no "skate down the ice slam-dunk the puck in the net" goal, it was from the corner around his own goal line. If Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin score that goal, the NHL Network would build a documentary around it.
Although I was never a fan of his before, I like what I have seen from Donald Brashear. He is still one of the best fighters in the game, and he has shown ability when on the ice. The line with Aaron Voros and Brian Boyle has been effective, although I don't know what the future holds for them with Sean Avery back in the lineup.
Speaking of Sean, welcome back, and you are well on the way to that 55 point career year I predicted for you.
One more thing on Brashear: Did you notice after he served his penalty for fighting Colton Orr last night, he was skating to the bench, and Chris Higgins gave him a little tap on the shoulder? Good stuff, Higgins knew what that fight meant for Brashear in front of the home crowd.
We keep telling ourselves "its only six games, its only six games", but I'm throwing it out the window. As a lifelong fan of this team, there hasn't always been a ton of genuine excitement around this team. This just feels different. Throw all the cold water on me that you want, I don't care. I think as Ranger fans we have good reason to be excited for this team.
5-1, sitting pretty in 1st place overall in the Conference. However long it lasts, I'll take it.
Don't forget, tonight at 7 PM, Blueshirt Banter Radio takes to the internet airwaves to talk Ranger hockey and take your phone calls. Former WFAN host Sid Rosenberg will stop by to say hello, we'll mix it up a little with Sid and talk about all the goings-on in NY Sports.