207 - 0 - 4
(weight - big hits - points)
NEW YORK RANGERS: I'm unhappy, therefore I am.
We're just about a third of the way through the season, and I can't smell what management is cookin'.
The Flyers didn't seem to pose a problem. And apparently, the Rangers seem to have the Penguins number. But if this team wants to go far, they'll need to get through Tampa, and Boston, and even the Islanders.
The Rangers can hang around with the competition, but to a certain extent.
So far, Martin St. Louis has arguably been the Rangers best all around forward; Rick Nash is up to 18 goals for the season; and they're even getting inspired play out of Kevin Klein.
Otherwise, I'm seeing a preponderance of yawn inspiring play.
Overall, the blue liners have played piss poor transitional hockey, and generally speaking, it seems as if there have been more defensive breakdowns this season than in recent seasons combined.
Kevin Klein's game winning goal is an obvious aberration, as the Rangers have benefited very little from their defensive scoring. Klein has twice as many goals as the rest of his blue line mates combined; Dan Boyle (2 goals) and Dan Girardi are the only two other defenders to find net this season.
Even since before his injury, Ryan McDonagh has not played up to his own standards, while Marc Staal has played all 26 games this season and averages 22 minutes a game, but has only registered 4 assists.
I'm not necessarily targeting Marc Staal, but maybe if he threw his body around more often (or at all) the Rangers need not go into overtime against the Penguins.
I'll take that a step further: maybe if Montreal does not eliminate Boston from last season's playoffs, we have an entirely different perspective of this team.
As a team, they're only playing 40-minutes of hockey on any given night, which is a problem considering they are not nearly as relentless in their offensive zone as, say, Tampa, Boston, or even the Islanders (...much less the Los Angeles Kings,etc.). When you get right down to it, those are the only teams that potentially matter.
While I'm at it - Chris Kreider, Carl Hagelin..., Hello?
In truth, I still don't know what kind of club Alain Vigneault is trying to run.
I do know the Rangers are bland and clearly lack salt.
But that's on Glen Sather.