NHL Network previewed the upcoming season for the New York Rangers, hitting on their depth and lack of offense.
The regular season is coming. Time for the discussion of what kind of team the Rangers will put out on the ice in October.
NHL Network broke down all of the changes the team has undergone and what they’ll have to adjust to. It wasn’t all positive, however, as they had some tough things to say regarding the team’s offense and chances of going deep into the playoffs.
Regarding Ondrej Pavelec, Bill Lindsay remarked that “the backup goalie could be a concern.” This should be no surprise to anyone as Antti Raanta played great hockey as the back up to Henrik Lundqvist, winning 16 of the 30 games he played last season.
Pavelec, on the other hand, won just four games in eight appearances.
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) August 10, 2017
The offensive review of the team was interesting, “The Rangers scored by committee,” Lindsay said, “but lack that superstar power up front.” This will be the same offense from last season, less Derek Stepan, so the defense will have to carry a lot of the weight this year.
Speaking of the defense, Lindsay pointed to the team’s biggest offseason addition as the key to it all. “[Kevin] Shattenkirk will be the quarterback of the power play and if he can get the Rangers into the top 10, they could go far.”
That said, Shattenkirk will be facing higher expectations with the Rangers than he has at any other point in his career. He’ll have to be more than “ok,” as Lindsay described his playoff performance with the Washington Capitals.
As for Lundqvist, the truth hurts. “Henrik is running out of time,” noted Lindsay. “He is getting old.” Ouch! The reality is that, unless the Rangers upgrade their backup goalie situation, King Henrik will have to carry a heavier load—and perform far better than he did a season ago.
RELATED: Lundqvist's Free Pass Needs To End
To sum it up, for this preview anyway, the Rangers have great depth on all four lines but are missing that one special offensive player that can take over a game. Only a handful of teams have that guy.
Even with a mediocre defense in front of a mediocre Lundqvist, the Rangers still finished the regular season with 102 points. I say it’s too early to panic—wait and see the team on the ice before you do that.