If you don’t know it by now, New York Rangers’ fans are very demanding.
This is a fan base that dreams about making the playoffs every year, winning their first Cup since 1994, and being a team that they can be proud of. While the Blueshirts did their best to deliver everything and more to their fans for the last decade or so, they ultimately came up short.
This resulted in the team beginning to rebuild their franchise and is something that will continue through this season and possibly next. With that in mind, the team needs to do things to keep their fans engaged.
Playing their youngsters, playing hard every night, not giving up, and being in every game are certainly good ways to do that. Things like this will keep the fans hopeful and tuned into their TV’s, radio, Internet streaming service, etc., to keep track of their favorite team.
One other big way is to play well at home in Madison Square Garden. In their opening night tilt, they lost a very hard fought game to the Nashville Predators 3-2 in what was a very evenly matched game, one in which the team could have come away with a victory.
Beginning Thursday night with their game against the San Jose Sharks, the team’s five of their next seven games all come on home ice. Their five home games will come against the likes of the Sharks, Edmonton Oilers, Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, and the Florida Panthers.
Here is what the Rangers need to do at home in order to keep things interesting and fun for their fans. For starters, a win here and there would certainly help things.
The team is 0-3 to start the season. They have been in every game they have played and could just as easily be 3-0. With that said, however, they still have no points to show for it.
If the team could pick up two to three wins in their next five games on Garden ice, it could go a long way in showing the fans that while they may not necessarily be a playoff team, they can still be a good team and one that will compete every night. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but winning hockey games is what matters most in this league, regardless if you’re a contender or a team simply looking to stay in the thick of things.
Secondly, head coach David Quinn needs to keep showing faith in his club’s younger players. Let guys like Filip Chytil, Brett Howden, Vladislav Namestnikov, Tony DeAngelo, and Neal Pionk show what they can do, make mistakes, and learn from them. Fans always appreciate seeing their younger players grow up and succeed for their favorite team.
This team also should not be afraid to make plays. While they should not get caught up in looking for the perfect play, they should at least try and be creative offensively and show that when the reigns are loosened, they are capable of making plays. Again, this is easier said than done, but hopefully, it is something that Quinn is willing to do.
Lastly, the team needs to show the fans that they care. Sometimes, when there are no expectations for your team to do well, players may get complacent and not push themselves like they need to do. Simply put, that is unacceptable in New York.
While it may be early in the season, it is never too early for the Rangers to establish themselves on home ice. Winning game at homes will give their head coach and the rest of the team confidence and will show the fans that they will play hard no matter what expectations are placed on them.