by Timmy Corbett
The Rangers have many problems going into this season, the high-flying goal scorers should be exempt of scrutiny, but not so. The ” Edmonton ” Rangers last year scored 210 goals, add to this, Anson Carter’s 25 goals he scored for the Oilers and Alexei Kovalev’s 27 he netted while on the penguins, that’s a total of 283. That number far eclipses the east leading Ottawa senators (263) and likewise outshines the west leading Detroit Red Wings (269) Teams who qualified for the playoffs in the final spot were the islanders in the east (224) and in the west, Edmonton (231) the Rangers should be capable on offense to get into the playoffs on these numbers.
The Rangers missed the playoffs by 6 points last season, all of this with very little chemistry and the months missed by injuries to their top right winger, Pavel Bure and their top offensive defenseman, Brian Leetch, as well as players playing at less than peak health at several key stretches. A full season and building chemistry can only benefit the rangers attack.
On the defensive side of the coin, the rangers have to account for both Kovalev and Carter, for all the goals they scored last year on their original teams, they were minus players last year. Both notched – 11. The Rangers allowed 231 goals last season and as a team were minus 21 Two players could double the defensive risk on the team, raising the goals against to 253, no team in the league last year allowed more than Pittsburgh, and they allowed 255, not something to look forward to at all.
This will be like a season like no other, we have all seen players pick their play up another level when it is a contract renewal year. Imagine an entire league picking up their intensity? This is looking more and more like there will be a lockout so many players will have this as their last chance to shine, or compete at all, can the rangers finally play a two way game or will it be the same old story, when the same old story wasn’t good enough in better times? The rangers do not have a valid two way force and it is high time the rangers forwards gave it their all… before its too late.
We all saw the playoffs, that the high scoring Senators were out worked and shut down by the hard checking Devils, offense simply does not win playoff games. Then again after six painful years, I’d be happy just to make it into the playoffs.