Last night, Rick Nash played in his first game for the New York Rangers against the Boston Bruins since the third game of the season, and with a Rangers team struggling immensely to score goals, having your elite goal scorer back will definitely help. Unfortunately for the Rangers, Nash will just not be enough.
Even with Nash back in the lineup last night, and with the Rangers greatly out chancing and out playing the Bruins for 60 minutes, while out shooting them 44-22, the Rangers were only able to score 0ne goal and fell to the Bruins by a 2-1 score in regulation, guaranteeing the Rangers zero points.
I know it was Nash’s first game back and it will take him a little while to get in the swing of things, but new system or not, finishing off plays and putting the puck into the net is not a systematic problem.
Last year, all of the fans blamed John Tortorella‘s system as the culprit of why the Rangers could not score goals, but now under Alain Vigneault‘s uptempo offensive system, the Rangers still cannot score goals.
So, what’s the excuse now?
This lack of scoring falls squarely on the shoulders of the players. The Rangers just do not have the consistent goal scoring talent that you need to win games against top teams, especially in the playoffs. Yes, the Rangers’ strength is defense, but most of the time, the teams that make the playoffs play great defense, so you need your offense to step up; and since Nash cannot score all of the goals, the Rangers will be in serious trouble, and that is only if this team can make it to the playoffs, as now that is fair to call into question.
“Okay so lets go out and get an elite goal scorer,” most fans would say. Well, how are you going to accomplish that without giving up so much in return that the Rangers would be almost the same or even worse off?
It is near impossible.
The bottom line is this team is not just not going to go anywhere this season. Defense is important, but if you cannot score goals in games in which you dominate the opposing team, you are just setting yourself up for failure and that is what the Rangers are doing so far this season.