From the desk of: RAISE GRESCH WITH THE GREATS
NEW YORK RANGERS: Who Needs To Do What, And How Often Do They Need To Keep It Up In Order To Win Games?
Meet the new boss. In their first game of the season, the Rangers scored a power play goal by defenseman Marc Staal.
Same as the old boss? No goals from the forward lines during even strength; Rangers lose 4-1 to the Phoenix Coyotes.
I shake my head to the new revolution.
The Captain, Ryan Callahan should be back on the ice tonight at the Office Supply Arena when the Rangers take on the Los Angeles Kings, who always present a supreme challenge. Another challenge facing the Rangers is once again, where will they get their goal scoring from. The returning Ryan Callahan has to be counted on for thirty goals this season. After all, the offense is supposed to be opening up under new coach Alain Vigneault, right?
There are some other obvious names who need to supply goals. Carl Hagelin needs to be counted on for at least twenty to twenty five goals this season. Like Callahan, Derek Stepan needs to come within the twenty-five to thirty goal range. On the next tier of scoring, I think the Rangers would greatly appreciate fifteen goals from Brian Boyle. If Mats Zuccarello adds another fifteen, better for the Blue Shirts.
On the extreme end of things, Rick Nash needs to be a forty goal scorer. Period. Then, the Rangers 800 lbs. gorilla on skates needs to transform himself into an effective player again. Brad Richards is up against IT in the worst way. No player likes to be up against IT. The Rangers have to get at least twenty goals and sixty points from Brad Richards to justify that money. Even then, he would fall woefully short of living up to his contract. So here's hoping he has a little renaissance man in him.
The wild cards are going to be players like Derick Brassard, Taylor Pyatt, and Derek Dorsett. Down the line, Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller, Brandon Mashinter and Darroll Powe will need to be reconsidered for a part on Broadway as well.
I like the Rangers depth on the blue line. The more goals they get from their defensemen, the deeper they can conceivably advance in the post-season. I hope that wasn't assuming too much though. The biggest question worth answering is - can Marc Staal become a fifteen, or even a twenty goal scorer again? He reportedly had an excellent training camp, and incidentally scored the Rangers first goal of the season. In the three seasons spanning 2008 through 2011, Marc Staal scored fifty-three goals, then was felled by a lengthy concussion.
Dan Girardi hasn't registered double digit goals since he scored ten during the '07-'08 season. Last year he scored two in forty-six regular season games. With some more experience under his belt, Ryan McDonagh could conceivably chip in ten goals. Michael Del Zotto is a wild card. During the '11-'12 season, he was a forty-one point player, with ten goals in seventy-seven games played. In forty-six games last season, he was a twenty-one point scorer. This season, Del Zotto needs to play smarter hockey and chip in with forty-five points.
After that, any one else is welcome to step up and contribute.