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The Musings: Do the Rangers have a defensive problem?

October 10, 2013, by
MDZ: time to be a difference maker

MDZ: time to be a difference maker

One game does not a season make. That is why the Rangers enter tonight’s game with plenty of reason for optimism. On the flip side, your boys got some making up to do.

I want to see Michael Del Zotto start to impose himself on games more.  He has the talent to be a top pair defenseman and is more talented than a guy like Dan Girardi but does he have the decision making and will to be more consistent? I’ve said it before but this is such a pivotal year for MDZ.

Speaking of Dan Girardi – not many Rangers (your King included) have yet to distinguish themselves this season but Girardi has had a particularly sloppy start. Several turnovers and he’s been caught out of position often. The Rangers need more from Girardi.

Keeping on the defensive theme – when you concede 14 goals in your first three games there are multiple issues to solve but Marc Staal is arguably the only defenseman so far that has been solid at either end of the rink. On paper the Rangers have good depth. On the ice, it hasn’t translated as it should. Is that all down to the new system being implemented?

Ryan McDonagh has been solid, nothing more nothing less; but his measuring stick is different now he has a fat new deal to live up to.

Biggest surprise so far: Has to be Brad Richards even if it’s a small sample size. Goals breed confidence.

Derek Stepan. He’s getting up to speed quickly. Still needs more ice time under his belt but coming along quickly.

Biggest disappointment so far: Not a single new addition to the roster has contributed positively or consistently yet.

I have liked Brian Boyle’s game so far. He’s winning key faceoffs, putting the puck on net and chipping in offensively. Almost every player has a lot of room for improvement – as has Boyle – but it’s a solid start for a guy that was arguably on very shaky ground entering the season.

The Rangers have two games coming up where they need to be physical and be tight defensively. The Ducks and Blues will bully the Rangers if they play like they did against the Sharks. Guys like Dorsett and Asham have to leave their mark.

Food for thought: If the Sharks – regularly considered a contender – deem Tomas Hertl is ready for an opportunity why don’t the Rangers give the same opportunities to their kids…. or do they?

Question Time:

  • At 1-2 I’ll ask again – what record will you accept after the season opening road trip?
  • Who should be next in line for a call up (considering all factors such as ice time)?
  • On a scale of 1-10 how concerned are you with the time taken to adapt to AV’s system?
  • How concerned are you with the lack of puck possession shown so far from the Rangers?


  1. RangerSmurf says:

    3-3-3. Everything else is gravy.
    As of now, Miller.
    1. It’s 3 games (ok, 9 with preseason).

    Not very. They were average against PHX/LAK, trainwreck in SJS.

    I put the numbers on twitter, but there were 4-3-3, 43% possession in 11-12 before winning the conference. Slow starts are just that, a start.

  2. Ren says:

    1. 3-5
    2. Haley
    3. 9
    4. 9

    They have looked like trash every game (including preseason) with the exception of the LA game. With another bad performance I will start to believe that game was above the mean. Brass has to step up. Poliout has just been bad. Zucc can’t be the best player on the team every night.

  3. paulronty says:

    * 3-4-2
    *Miller or Kreider
    * 7
    * 10

    With speed comes puck possession(Hags a good example). Need more speed out there.

  4. Dave says:

    1. 4-4-1
    2. Top-six: Kreider, Bott
    3. 0. It’s been three games. Took a while to learn Torts’ systems too.
    4. They were even with PHX, slight advantage in LA, and dominated in SJS. Again, 3 games.

    Nice creativity in the image selection…

  5. Gary says:

    1. 4-5, and I hate that I wrote that.
    2. Oscar Lindberg, I know he’s a center, but…
    3. 2
    4. I am not overly concerned. I think it will be a product of the system coming naturally. 2 of the 3 games you can see the gears turning in these guys’ heads.

  6. Johnny Red says:

    As I read all these Ranger write-ups all over the papers and internet I find one thing. Everyone wants everything today, now! A team has a new coach, a new system, and a few new players and everyone is in panic mode after 3 games of an 82 game season. Are you people kidding me these days. Your like a person who wants to collect a 25 year pension after working a year or two! Things take time in life, trees don’t grow fruit over night, and teams don’t win a championship in the beginning of a season. This generation needs to slow down. Not everything in life is like a computer and the internet (immediate results)
    Teams need time to get to know system and each other. Slow down chicken little the sky isn’t falling.

  7. Blueshirt In Paris says:

    This issue with the def corps has been the same for a few years now. It it why Torts went to a collapse and block system because they could not handle anything else with success.

    With less players in front of Henrik you are seeing the lack of size and straight back there to clear the crease.

    And we still need a righty for crying out loud!

  8. Bloomer says:

    I believe the Ranger squad is capable of a 5-4 record after this long road trip. Anything else is unacceptable. JT Miller should be the Rangers next call up. AV has done a piss poor job getting this team ready for the season. 2 out of 10 on adapting to the some call new system. I am concern of the Rangers play in all 3 zones, what puck possession?