Ever since the Rangers began flipping rosters with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Blueshirts fans (including myself) have complained about the trades gutting the hard working, lunch pale mentality that defined the 2011-12 Eastern Conference Finalist team.
But the fact remains that despite the influx of Ranger fan favorites, Columbus was unable to qualify for the playoffs last season and currently sit in sixth place in the Metropolitan Division after a four game losing streak. Meanwhile your Blueshirts, buoyed by the pieces obtained in the Marian Gaboik trade, made a nice little run to the Eastern Conference Semi-finals last year after a disappointing regular season and have won four of fives games as they continue to get more comfortable in Alain Vigneault's system.
For Columbus, Brandon Dubinsky, who has become the de facto captain of the Blue Jackets, is still having issues finding the back of the net as evidenced by his three goals this season, while Artem Anisimov isn't that far behind with four. And remember Tim Erixon? Yeah, he hasn't suited up in an NHL game this season.
Now, to make matters worse for the Blue Jackets, Marian Gaborik seems to be reverting back to the form that got him shipped out of New York last season as he's gone scoreless in his last four games with a -3, forcing his head coach Todd Richards to have a lengthy conversation with his sniper yesterday.
Gaborik wouldn't elaborate on the conversation, but did say this about his recent performance…
"Obviously everybody can do better. I can do better on and off the ice. We’re a desperate team right now. I need to bring more, and I will. I’m looking forward to this challenge with this team right now. We need guys stepping up, including myself. That’s all I have to say."
…while the former Rangers (don't forget Tyutin) are missed in their own unique way, I'm not convinced that the Rangers would be better off if they were all still on the team, even without Nash. They'd still be having issues finding the back of the net, while struggling to adapt to a new head coach.
…it's always nice to reminisce about the good times the Rangers had with former players, but know this Blueshirts fans, your team is in a much better position to make a run at the Stanley Cup than their Metropolitan Division counter-parts from Columbus despite us missing the passion and intensity a guy like Dubinsky brought to the table through examples such as this…