5 Things New York Rangers Need To Do To Succeed In 2013-14
New York Rangers: 5 Keys To Success In 2013-14
Granted it is only one game, but the flaws I was seeing in the preseason has reared its ugly face in the first game of the regular season, and all of these obviously need to be corrected if the Rangers want to succeed this year.
With expectations very high for this Rangers squad, it is imperative for this team, especially with injuries to forward Carl Hagelin and captain Ryan Callahan (who should be back next game barring any set backs), that the Rangers weather the storm and survive the brutal nine-game road trip to start the season. They need to come out with a few wins and a few overtime losses so they at least get some points. Anything above that is purely unrealistic and will not happen.
An 0-9 road trip to start the season will ruin any chance for the Rangers to come even remotely close their Stanley Cup goal this season. If they continue to play like they did in the preseason and on opening night, an 0-9 start is what the Rangers will get.
However, there is some hope. You have to keep in mind that the Rangers are learning a new system courtesy of new head coach Alain Vigneault, so there will be a period of adjustment. While that is expected, the adjustment period cannot last too long in an extremely competitive and bigger Eastern Conference due to the questionable NHL realignment.
I am sure the Rangers know this and would like to adjust to Vigneault's system as soon as possible, and I have the top five things that the Rangers need to do and get better at if they want to have a successful season in 2013-14. Please click next and enjoy.
5. Get Tougher
The Rangers are simply a team no one fears: no offense, shady defense outside of a few players, and a great goaltender in Henrik Lundqvist who can only do so much.
Maybe if the Rangers got some toughness, then teams will not think playing the Rangers will be a total cake walk. Now by toughness I am not talking necessarily about fighting, but hard hitting. The Rangers have zero guys on this team that deliver constant earth-shattering hits that will make opposing players think twice about taking the Rangers for granted.
4. Get Rid Of Dead Weight
I am sick and tired of seeing players such as Taylor Pyatt and Brian Boyle stick up this team. They contribute absolutely nothing, especially Pyatt.
Both are slower than molasses, score a couple of goals a year, and do not use their size to their advantage but get paid millions of dollars anyway. I mean, where do I sign up? I can do nothing just as good as these guys for less than half the price. These guys are so frustrating to watch game in and game out and need to be let go for the Rangers to get better.
3. Clear The Puck Out Of The Zone
How many times throughout the course of a game can a team fail to clear the puck out of their own zone?
This plagued the Rangers last year and it continues even with a new coach. How many times must we watch the players on this team nonchalantly attempt to clear the puck out of the zone, and it gets kept in by the opposing team and quickly ends up in the back of the Rangers' net? Enough is enough. Fire the puck out of the zone already.
2. Stop Turning The Puck Over
When Vigneault said in his new offensive system that the Rangers' skilled players will be given a long leash to show their talents, I knew that was both good and bad.
It's good that some players can actually experiment with deke moves and high-risk/high-reward passes that lead to more offense, but it's bad that it will cause more turnovers and more goals in the Rangers' net. And wouldn't you know it, the bad showed up in the Rangers' regular season opener and this led to a 4-1 loss. If you turn the puck over, you lose games -- simple as that.
1. Score Goals
Ah. The impossible task. Score goals. Seems simple doesn't it? Not for this team.
The Rangers have not been able to score goals consistently over the years, mostly due to the fact that they always seem to just rely on one player to do all the scoring. The lucky contestant on this years' team is once again Rick Nash. Other teams somehow figure out this brilliant strategy and do all they can to shut Nash down and make the other Rangers try to beat them, and it ends up as a Rangers loss a lot of the times.
The Rangers seem to never score more than two goals a game and in today's NHL, one or two goals just does not cut it. You cannot win games like that anymore and the Rangers never seem to keep up with the times.
This year is supposed to be different though as the Rangers hired Vigneault to improve their offense. So far, that did not work out in game one or throughout the entire preseason, but it is still early, right?
The whole object of the game of hockey is to score more goals then the other team, and the Rangers fail to get this concept. It astounds me. This is why this is no. 1 on my list and is the most obvious thing the Rangers need to do and get better at if they want to have a successful season in 2013-14.