If you follow the Rangers the way we do, and if you’re reading this and posting comments, you are, then you know that the Rangers aren’t really a good team this season. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, it’s pretty obvious. One thing we knew was going to happen was the Blueshirts were going to get caved in defensively, and so far that has happened.
Ruff gonna Leroy Jenkins us to another top pick. https://t.co/QwGZYkzdvh
— David Shapiro (@BlueSeatBlogs) October 15, 2019
The first reaction to this is that the defense is terrible. It is, that’s a factual statement, and something that we kind of have a twitch to after the last few seasons. But in hockey, we’ve been preaching that the best defense is a good offense. The opposition can’t score if you have the puck. It’s why we like possession metrics so much.
For a team to be this far down –small sample size warning– means that nothing is clicking. That also means the offense. Don’t get me wrong, the Rangers are not going to all of a sudden be great defensively if they can generate consistent offensive pressure. They will, however, spend less time in their zone as they grow and spend more time in the offensive zone. That’s just simple logic and math.
The focus then shifts to how the Rangers can sustain that offense. The issue is depth. Simply put they don’t have any. Outside of the top line, the Rangers have two skilled wingers, a bunch of young unknowns, a few old unknowns, and a third line forward who’s actually a defenseman. That’s not exactly inspiring.
The good news is that the only place for the Rangers to go is up. Eventually they will get Filip Chytil and Vitali Kravtsov, pushing players like Ryan Strome and Brendan Smith out of the top-nine, which in turn pushes Micheal Haley and Greg McKegg out of the lineup. This is still a rebuilding year, and it’s going to get worse before it gets better. But it will get better.