Three questions for the mailbag this week. As always, use the mailbag widget on the side to email us your questions.
Mikeyyy asks: During this rebuild why are some fans so down on the team. A rebuild is like a Phoenix being reborn. New opportunities new coach new system new players. All this is good right?
I like the analogy. A Phoenix being born. Well done.
As for the fans being down on the team, that’s expected because the team isn’t winning. There is a large group of fans who didn’t want the rebuild at all, which is perfectly fine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions.
However I think the larger issue is that most folks liked the idea of a rebuild in theory. Rebuild from the ground up, get high picks and prospects. In theory it’s great. But the team needs to lose a lot for that to happen. I think there is a subsection of the fanbase that wasn’t prepared for this. Personally, I like where the team is right now. They are competitive and keeping games close. The never say die spirit is something that will carry forward with the team when they start winning.
Rick asks: Why can’t this team finish? It’s mind boggling with these forwards.
Ok that is a fair point. The team is having trouble finishing consistently. The Rangers have a bottom-third shooting percentage right now (roughly 7% at even strength). Last year that was almost 10%, so that’s a big drop off. The good news is that it’s early, and this sort of stuff usually corrects itself. The Rangers are too skilled to sit at 7% for the whole season.
The bad news is that Alain Vigneault’s counter attack system sacrificed offensive zone time for quality chances, which inflated that SH% over the last few years. David Quinn appears to be more focused on sustained offensive zone time and a more stable defensive zone presence. That means fewer chances taken for counter attacks, which in turn means the SH% is likely to drop. They won’t be this bad, but it may not get much better.
Dave (Me): Just an FYI, I’m sure you’ve all noticed the video player that was recently added. That was supposed to be there from Day 1 of the new design, but I had a lot of issues and needed two different tech support teams to figure out why it wasn’t displaying. As the season progresses, you’ll see more Rangers content on it. I’m hoping to get game specific videos in game recaps as well. Hope you guys like it.