by Patrick Hoffman on 10/16/11 at 06:18 PM ET
Obviously folks, the answer to this question is a resounding NO.
It is only three games into the season and while the the team is 0-1-2, thanks to a 4-2 loss to the New York Islanders last night, it is certainly nothing to panic about. With that said, there are obviously things that the team needs to work on.
For starters, taking too many penalties. Throughout the team’s first three games of the season, it seems like the Blueshirts have constantly been making trips to the penalty box. Last night, the Rangers gave the Islanders eight power plays, some of them absolutely needless such as Marian Gaborik’s penalty in the third period.
Not only does going to the box put the team at a disadvantage man-wise, but it also kills the flow of the team. Last night, it was clear that the top line of Derek Stepan-Brad Richards-Marian Gaborik was clicking and creating scoring opportunities. However, when the team takes too many penalties, there is only so much time that line can get out on the ice.
Secondly, defenseman Michael Del Zotto does not look too confident out there. There is no doubt that he has a great shot (when he gets it on net) but when it comes to playing the puck in his own zone, he is very tentative. Would sending him down to the Connecticut Whale help?
Going into this week with games against the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers, the Rangers will need to pull things together so they can put some wins up on the board. If they do this week what they did in their first three games, things could get a bit ugly going back to Broadway.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.