New York Rangers Are Not In Panic Mode -- Not Yet, At Least
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 08: Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers loses his stick making a save during the third period against Jonathan Drouin #92 of the Montreal Canadiens at Madison Square Garden on October 8, 2017 in New York City. The Rangers shutout the Canadiens 2-0. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

With the New York Rangers losing their third game out of four, the team is not panicking, but there is a concern of how to get their game to go in the right direction.

“We’ve got to find a way to get this group going right from the start,” Ryan McDonagh said to Justin Tasch of the New York Daily News in response to last night’s defeat against the Blues.

That statement sums up the Rangers season so far. Their first periods this season have been an embarrassment as the Rangers continue to give up early goals. Last night was another example as the Rangers allowed St. Louis to score just 15 seconds into the hockey game.

This is unlike an Alain Vigneault coached hockey team. In past years the Rangers have prided themselves on good defensive starts, with passion and hustle. Last night was anything but that as the Rangers were losing 1-0 before most fans sat down from the singing of the National Anthem. The team was in disarray from the drop of the puck and it continued for most of the first period.

Though they have only played in four games in this young season, some problems have stood out already. The team has played in two out of the four games where they have not scored an even-strength goal. This happened opening night where the Rangers dropped a 4-2 game to the Colorado Avalanche and last night’s as they lost 3-1 to St. Louis.

The lack of scoring is glaring.

Newsday‘s Steve Zipay spoke with Mika Zibanejad who has some interesting things to say regarding goals.

“We’ve been getting goals, but haven’t been able to get the more important goals, late in the game, that’s unfortunate.” Mika went on to say “We have to be a little more desperate when it comes to that.”

Rangers Captain Ryan McDonagh hit the nail on the head when he told Steve Zipay, “We’re trying to put a full game together & we haven’t done that in any game. Didn’t put any pressure on them until the middle of the 2nd.”

The Rangers are saying all the right things, but with little to show for it. The team has little options to change the roster currently. To make things a worse, the Rangers sent rookie Filip Chytil down to the AHL Wolfpack. This decision, though the correct one, resulted in the coaching staff putting J.T. Miller in as the third line center — a position Alain Vigneault really did not want to do, but he had no choice as the Rangers could not pick up another quality center in the offseason.

The scoring by committee system that worked well for most of the last season, is in a big slump right now. Where is the scoring? The list of forwards who have zero points so far is:

The list of forwards with only one point is:

These players are going to have to figure out a way to finish off plays and score if the Rangers want to win some hockey games. These points lost are valuable as are the home games themselves. The Rangers want teams to be intimidated when they come to Madison Square Garden, well they better find a way to light that lamp behind the net or every team coming to the garden is going to fear nothing and no one.

Alain Vigneault didn’t sound like he had many answers as to why the team is scoring. Other then the Mika Zibanejad line, the other lines have yet to find chemistry. I would think if the Rangers don’t show that chemistry soon, Vigneault will start to change things up as he looks for goal scoring up and down the roster.

CHECK OUT the New York Rangers Team Center: News, Stats, Standings

 NEXT: Stunning Lineup Changes Were Necessary 


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Frank Curto

A graduate of St. John’s University class of ’91. I have been a fan of The New York Rangers since the days of Peter Puck. Founder of Ranger Proud, the Facebook page that covers all news, notes , pre /post game stats, and player quotes. Follow me at Facebook/RangerProud, Twitter @RangerProud & and @FrankCurto On Instagram, Ranger.proud