For Derick Brassard and the New York Rangers, it’s about time.
Brassard had the winning goal for the Rangers against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night, but it was was his first marker of the season for a team struggling at 3-6. It’s no secret that Brassard’s slow start also has something to do with the Rangers’ sloppy beginning. Prior to the game, coach Alain Vigneault called for Brassard and his other center, Derek Stepan, to pick up their game.
While Vigneault was planning on keeping them as his top two centers on his top two lines, the Rangers obviously need to threaten Brassard with less playing time if he continues to struggle.
Maybe the game-winner against the Red Wings will turn things around. It’s going to have to. Vigneault and the Rangers can’t tolerate Brassard, Stepan and anyone else to contribute negatively to the Rangers’ lackluster scoring. It’s still only October and if a center like Brassard is going to struggle, now’s as good a time as any to take action as long as he snaps out of it.
The Rangers need Brassard to throw more shots at the net each game. Against the Red Wings, he had three in a little more than 14 minutes of ice time. He played about the same number of minutes late in the week in a 2-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers and came up empty handed. In his previous three games, he had even more minutes per game each time.
Brassard showed from his previous stint with the Columbus Blue Jackets that he’s more than capable of of turning on the red light. When he came to the Rangers from Columbus last season for 13 games, he got the Ranger fans excited with his five goals and six assists. When the season ends, Brassard perhaps can point to Saturday’s game-winning goal against Detroit as a turnaround in his season. It’s his best bet right now.