A Mediocre Hockey Team: the New York Rangers
The team had a new bench boss in Alain Vigneault, perhaps the league's best goaltender and a promising offense that was due for a breakout season. Two months into the season, the Rangers and their fans should be disappointed with what they have seen so far out of this hockey team.
For starters, this team is barely hanging onto the eighth seed in what is considered a weak Eastern Conference. With teams like the New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, Ottawa Senators, and the Columbus Blue Jackets struggling, the Blueshirts should be well ahead of these teams and yet, find themselves just one point out of the top eight.
Two years ago, this team won the Atlantic Division. Last season, this club finished sixth in the Eastern Conference and finished strong at the end of the season to get to that spot.
This season, it appears that a lot more work is going to need to be put in as the East will more than likely be tight from now until the end of the season. For the Rangers, this means .500 hockey simply will not do.
Speaking of .500 hockey, the Rangers have consistently been inconsistent this season. Some nights, everything in their game clicks and their able to show that they are one of the better teams in the NHL while on other nights, they look like a listless hockey club that deserves to be where they are.
Considering the way the conference is, the Blueshirts should be a lot better than 14-14. When they lose to teams like the Winnipeg Jets, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, it is hard to gain ground, which is something that the Blueshirts have failed to do this season thus far.
Another problem the Rangers have had this season is with their offense. On some nights this season, the team has found way to put a lot of pucks in the net and look every bit like an offense that is capable of doing that on a consistent basis.
In viewing other games, however, one will notice that the club's offense is more than lackluster. This could clearly be seen in losses to the Jets, Flyers, Boston Bruins, Devils, Anaheim Ducks, etc.
It is easy to see why their offense is so inconsistent when one looks at their statistics. The team's leading scorer, Brad Richards, has just 20 points (seven goals and 13 assists) and the team's top goal scorers have just seven goals (Richards and Ryan Callahan).
On offense, this team just does not seem to scare anyone on a consistent basis. Sure, the team has scored at least five goals against the likes of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers and Vancouver Canucks but in more games than not, this team is lucky to get to three goals.
Simply put, it is easy to see why this team is where they are now. The Rangers are a hockey team that is good one night and terrible the next night, which is not going to get it done in this league.