After five years of Rangers goal scoring being akin to getting blood from a stone under John Tortorella, new head coach Alain Vigneault was supposed to open up the offense to allow players such as Rick Nash, Brad Richards and Derick Brassard to flourish. Instead, an inability to grasp the new offensive system along with injuries to key offensive players has the Rangers approaching historic ineptitude.
Through seven games, Brad Richards (4), Ryan Callahan (3) and Derek Dorsett are the only three Rangers forwards with goals this season. Just think about that for a second.
Yes, Phoenix goaltender Mike Smith has more goals than 3/4s of the Rangers forwards.
Listen, I get that Nash, Callahan and Hagelin are hurt, but I would have hoped guys like Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello, Derick Brassard and Beniot Pouliot would each have at least one goal by now.
I guess I shouldn't be all that surprised since Richards is the only player in the current line-up who's ever scored more than 25 goals in a season.
Vigneault could devise the greatest offensive game plan in the history of hockey, but when your roster is filled with 3rd and 4th line players it really doesn't matter.
To be honest, I don't know what the answer is. Benching underperformers? Recalling players from Hartford? All I know is that the Rangers just aren't a hard team to play against right now. These guys could skate with a carton of eggs and not break any.
Last night in Washington, the Blue Jackets were down 4-0 and Brandon Dubinsky sent a message to his teammates that their play was unacceptable…
Listen, I'm not crying about wanting Dubinsky back, but man, I'd love if even one Rangers player would show that kind of emotion and heart.
With top players out and scoring at a premium, it's officially time for the Rangers to play a tough, grind it out style. You know, the kind of hockey they played under Tortorella.