New York Rangers's Play Is Pushing Them Into a Slump

BY Fansided and Santagata JJ/FanSided via Puck Prose • December 26, 2016

The New York Rangers Started the Season on A High But Lately the Team’s Play Has Been Slipping. New York is Facing Some Difficulties That They Need to Push Through.

When the New York Rangers began the season on a scoring frenzy, I would have to assume many did not think it would last. Well, they were right but on the other hand, I was miserably wrong. Despite the Rangers top producers hitting the disabled list over the past month. The Rangers have simply not looked the same compared to the first month of games this season. I encourage one to not read this article if they like the Rangers.

Despite the Rangers top producers hitting the disabled list over the past month. The Rangers have simply not looked the same compared to the first month of games this season. I encourage one to not read this article if they like the Rangers.

I encourage one to not read this article if they like the Rangers.

An Offensive Decline

To start the season the Rangers were on a tear, their players were healthy and production from all four lines was a nightly occurrence. Everything seemed great, divisional leaders, most goals scored in the league, highest goals for per game. Well, fast forward a month and the Rangers have dropped to 3.25(GF/GP) and are letting up if not more goals than they were a month ago.

With Mika Zibanejad going down with a broken fibula the Rangers forwards knew they had to step up. Along with Rick Nash being in an out of the lineup with groin issues, even more, pressure is being put on these Rangers forwards. Which they simply are just not getting the job done.

Remember Kevin Hayes, J.T. Miller and Michael Grabner’s ridiculous point spree they went on in the beginning of the year. Well take a look at this. Hayes’ last 15 games, he’s scored two goals, three assists and logging a -3 plus/minus. In addition to that Hayes has not scored a goal in 8 games.

In Miller’s last 15 games, he’s recorded 4 points, 1 goal and 3 assists. As well, Miller has not scored in 6 games. Now finally, Grabner has been nearly a ghost on the ice, recording three points, two goals and one assist. Put the numbers together between the three and that is five goals, seven assists over 15 games. Quite pathetic honestly.

    Goalie Mystery

    Despite the lack of goal production, the Rangers goaltending has been a mystery over the last month. As well as their defensive zone play being abysmal. Henrik Lundqvist, once Vezina contender goalie year after year is slowly losing his “swagger” in the league. And the 7-4 loss to Minnesota Friday night is a perfect representation of that.

    Lundqvist definitely did not get the help from the players in front of him.This doesn’t change the fact two of the four goals Lundqvist let in were extremely questionable goals. These are goals that Lundqvist should have stopped and there is not arguing that.

    To add salt to the wound their defensive zone play has been quite sloppy. First attempt clears are almost impossible to come by, turnovers beneath the goal line are becoming a trend and protecting home plate seems to be a part of the game the Rangers forgot about.

    The Look Ahead

    If you are a Rangers fan the past few games have not been the most comforting games to watch. There have been a lot of sloppy plays and careless mistakes. But the one takeaway from the Rangers play despite their lack of goals, and dreadful defensive zone play, the Rangers look to be playing without an edge.

    After Lundqvist got deliberately blindsided by Cody Eakin of the Stars, one would think a player would take action and start something with Eakin. Well, that was not the case, every Ranger player on the ice looked the other way and continued to play on. This is just one of many occasions the Rangers have shown a lack of edge in their play.

    The Rangers roster is not accompanied by many “tough guys.”  This gives other teams an ‘ok’ to do things like Eakin did without retaliation. If the Rangers don’t get that edge back or start scoring and cleaning up the careless mistakes then let’s just say come April things will be interesting for the Rangers.

    Clearly, the Rangers have some work to do.

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