Thoughts after ten games
The Rangers have hit the ten game mark in their rebuild season. That isn’t any specific milestone, just double digits, and it’s a Friday, so this all makes sense to do a summary so far. At least in my mind it makes sense. Anyway, the Rangers are basically what we expected them to be. So let’s round out the week with a brain dump.
1. The Rangers are, as mentioned above, what we expected them to be. They aren’t going to win many games. They will have the goaltending and –probably– the offense to at least keep it close though. That’s really all you can hope for. They aren’t getting blown out, so they need to continually fight and play hard. These are good lessons.
2. Something else we learned is that this team doesn’t have a “give up” button. At least not yet. They’ve been close in most games so far, and have had a few come from behind victories so far. Teaching kids to never quit and that the game is never out of reach are good lessons. Since this is about growth and establishing a right mental frame of mind, these pieces shouldn’t be forgotten.
3. I’m happy to see the rest of the fanbase that held out hope for the playoffs is starting to come around. I don’t think this team will be a bottom-five in the NHL though. Before last night’s three goal loss, they had six losses (one in OT), and a -6 goal differential. They aren’t getting blown out, which leads me to believe that once the offense finds some stability, they will get some more wins.
4. As for that stability, I wouldn’t expect it until December. It’s a new system. The Rangers are still dealing with a learning curve. Until they figure it out in the defensive zone, the offense will likely struggle to find consistency. It happened when Alain Vigneault came on board in 2013 as well.
5. Speaking of that adjustment, there seems to be a lot of “this kid is a bust” and “send this kid down” talk. It’s been ten games. It’s way too early for any of that. This is a rebuild. The kids are going to get playing time. They will make mistakes. Lots of them. They may not score right away. This is what a rebuild looks like. It’s not just draft picks and *poof* you’re a contender. There are years of struggles and rough patches. Welcome to those struggles and rough patches.
6. Henrik Lundqvist has been spectacular to start the season. That is all.