If you are a team that is going to struggle defensively, then you better be able to put up the offense to make up for it.
Unfortunately, the New York Rangers really have not been able to do that this season. After losing to the Chicago Blackhawks by a score of 4-1 on Thursday, October 25, the Blueshirts have scored just 24 goals in 10 games.
This is a big problem. For starters, it’s an issue with their star netminder Henrik Lundqvist.
In the games he has started, the team has scored just eight goals for the future Hall of Famer. In turn, this puts the pressure on the “King” to be flawless every night and with the kind of defense that he has in front of him, that just isn’t possible.
It’s also an issue because the team’s defense hasn’t been great. In 10 games, the team has allowed 34 goals, which puts them 29th in the league.
Despite that terrible ranking, the team’s defense and goaltending have somehow found a way to keep the team in most games this year. Let’s also not forget that this team allowed 8 goals to the Hurricanes in the third game of the season so if you take that game out, this team’s goals against isn’t exactly terrible.
This brings us to the main problem – putting the puck in the net. As of this writing, the Blueshirts are tied for 21st in the league in goals scored with 24 in 10 games.
Clearly, a number like this is not going to be good enough to have any kind of success this season. This team is a lot younger, is still learning under new head coach David Quinn, and are still trying to figure out who they want to be and growing pains come with that.
In their 4-1 loss to the Blackhawks, the Blueshirts seemed afraid to put the puck on net. Instead, they were looking for the perfect and when that failed, it ended up leading to an odd-man rush coming back the other way.
Secondly, this team does not have any real scoring depth. Yes, guys like Mika Zibanejad (5 goals and 9 points), Mats Zuccarello (2 goals and 8 points), and Chris Kreider (4 goals and 7 points) are producing a bit, but other than them, the rest of the team’s offense is not doing much.
Going forward, the team’s offense is going to need to figure out a way to be consistent. Besides the guys mentioned above, players like Jimmy Vesey, Kevin Hayes, Pavel Buchnevich, Ryan Spooner, Vladislav Namestnikov, and some of the other guys are going to need to start producing on a somewhat consistent basis.
Again, this could end up being a really long season on Broadway for the team. Coming into the season, no one was expecting much out of them to begin with.
With that said, however, the team needs to start bearing down on offense and put the puck in the net. They cannot continue to put so much pressure on their defense and goaltender night in and night out because if they do that, they will run them into the ground.
This team has some offensive talent to score goals. It’s time for them to start showing it.
Photo: CBS New York