October hasn’t even arrived yet and the New York Rangers are gonna face some pretty significant challenges early on in the 2013-2014 season.
For one, the Rangers will most likely be without captain Ryan Callahan and forward Carl Hagelin for maybe, but hopefully not, the first month of the season. Also because of more Madison Square Garden renovations, it has been said that the Rangers’ first eight regular season games will be played on the road. Additionally, the Blueshirts have a new head coach in Alain Vigneault, an entirely new coaching staff, and a new style of play which will force the players to adjust and will indeed cause some struggles and growing pains.
So if the Rangers start off this upcoming season badly, can the team and the fans make any excuses? The answer to that is simply no.
Here’s the complex answer.
If the Rangers want to be taken seriously this season and want to make a long playoff run and potentially fight in the finals for Lord Stanley’s Cup, then they have to find a way to fight this adversity.
Rangers GM Glen Sather hasn’t added superstars this summer, but instead he added depth at both the forward and defensive positions by acquiring players such as Benoit Pouliot, Dominic Moore, Justin Falk, and Aaron Johnson.
And what do all championship teams have?
Depth. Not to mention goaltending, defense, and the dreaded two words Rangers fans fear the most, goal scoring. But that’s a whole other story.
On paper at least, the Rangers have depth and players need to step up their games to make up for the losses of Callahan and Hagelin if they are truly missing the first month of the season.
With the high expectations surrounding this team, playing in New York City, injuries, having possibly the first eight games of the season on the road, and an entirely new coaching staff, there still should be no excuse having below a .500 record by the time of the Rangers’ first home game of the 2013-2014 season.
Agree or disagree?