Rangers Analysis: Time to worry about Higgins?
I think you guys know by now I'm not a "panic button" kind of guy. However, in the case of Chris Higgins, let's just say I'm making sure I know where it is, and that the batteries in it are good. At this point, I think you can't help but be worried about him.
When Glen Sather sealed the deal that sent Scott Gomez to Montreal we here at the Banter praised him for the move. The Rangers moved a huge contract and an underachieving player for a young hungry winger and a brilliant defensive prospect. In the end the Rangers saved almost 5 million dollars in cap space for the next five years--money which undeniably allowed the Rangers to obtain Marian Gaborik--and obtained a top-flight prospect to boot. The deal was incredible, Rangers nation rejoiced.
Now let me be perfectly clear here before I start this little rant, Higgins can most definitely bounce back and start playing his brand of hockey. But seeing as how he is 11 games into the season with just two assists (both came in one game) and no goals, things are not going well. Not only is he not producing but for the past five or six games he has been invisible or even detrimental when he is on the ice. Including the other night against the Habs when he took a penalty while the team was already down a man, a move which aided in him getting benched for the rest of the game.
While you most certainly cannot blame Higgins alone for this current three game skid, you can definitely point out that his poor play has been a big part of them. I don't care if his play doesn't necessarily lead to opposing team goals, he was brought here to be a top six forward and currently he might not even crack the top nine. Thus far this season the Rangers have lost three one goal games, including the other nights overtime loss to the Montreal Canadians; any goals from Higgins would have helped.
Anyway, in my personal opinion, it's time to start worrying about Higgins. Eleven games without a goal is a big problem for any top-six forward. In fact it's a problem for any top-nine forward let alone a guy some people thought might see time on the first line.
I hope that the benching that John Tortorella enforced works it's magic. I don't think anyone here can say that Tortorella wasn't patient with him, but enough is enough, Higgins needs to produce and he needs to do it soon. For every ones sake.