We miss you Marty

The season is one week old, yet it already feels like we’re back in the full swing of things. This mindset can be very comforting, like an old blanket on a chilly day. It’s familiar, it’s fun, and it’s always home at the Garden. However, some pieces of hockey season need to be analyzed with the part of the season we’re in — in this case, the early season.

Although it’s a hard truth that every game matters, it’s important to allow your team to ease in to the swing of things. Here at Blue Seat Blogs, a lot of people have issue with the coaching tactics of Alain Vigneault; that will be discussed below, but even he deserves the benefit of the early season doubt.

That being said, of course we’re still allowed to have our concerns. There are a few reasons to legitimately be worried with the state of our Rangers. Let’s dive deeper into why we should relax vs why we should panic.

Reasons to Relax

  • It’s October, and all teams need to fall into rhythm. If we took everything that happened in October at face value, Carey Price would be one of the worst goaltenders and Florida would have the best possession stats. Oh, and Washington is projected to have 111 points. It’s just silly.
  • Henrik Lundqvist always starts his seasons on the weaker side, and forgetting that for a hot minute, consider that the defense is so disorganized right now that it’s nearly impossible to get in a rhythm. I’d bet my life on the fact that Hank, whose save percentage right now is .898, will bring that number up considerably.
  • Remember when the Rangers opened the first three weeks of October 2-6-0 with a goal differential of -19? That team went on to the Stanley Cup Finals, and I still believe they could have won that. If a team is going to do poorly, I’d much prefer they falter in the beginning of the season than towards the end. You need to walk before you run, especially with many new faces both on the ice and behind the bench.

Reasons to Panic

*DISCLAIMER* I never think you should actually panic about sports. It’s a game. It brings tons of joy and angst to our lives, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s a happy pastime for our everyday life, so let’s remember that and treat it as such.

  • To put it mildly, AV is on his typical antics already this year. Forget your preconceived notion that this blog is vehemently anti-AV, the patterns he falls into are troublesome. If one chooses not to see this, so be it, but if history has taught us anything, it’s that he is stubborn to a fault. Choosing to play Steven Kampfer (barely an AHL-caliber player) over the guy you traded your 1C for is, well… something. His deployment is consistently terrible.
  • The ever evident lack of scoring forwards, as will be discussed further this afternoon with Dave’s post. We can’t rely on Mika Zibanejad on the power play all the time, and the fact that we have 8(!) defensemen up with inconsistent pairings, while suffering offensively, is not a good thing. I suppose we can see what Adam Cracknell does, but unless Jesper Fast makes a *fast* (ha!) recovery, even still we’d need something to happen.
  • In the off chance that this season goes off the rails, and that Vigneault were to lose his job, the most obvious runner up would be Lindy Ruff, whose coaching style is identical to AV’s. It wouldn’t necessarily be an upgrade. This is some real doomsday speak, though, and I don’t see it getting there.

Whichever camp you choose to park yourself in is up to you. I prefer the cautiously optimistic space, where I feel confident that 1- AV will annoy me, and 2- the Rangers will settle down and rack up some wins. With back to backs this weekend, it’s very possible that we all wake up Sunday morning feeling much better, or wake up feeling much worse.


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