by Patrick Hoffman on 09/27/11 at 09:00 AM ET
That is how it is for the New York Rangers now that their North American preseason is over after losing 5-3 to the Philadelphia Flyers last night in Philly.
While the Blueshirts will be extremely busy in Europe, this will be a big opportunity for the Rangers to really grow as a team. With captain Ryan Callahan at the helm, this team will be more united than ever and will stick up for each other, battle for each other and never quit on each other. This is something that came out in the Rangers’ play last season but with Callahan running the show as team captain, it should be like this night in and night out for the Blueshirts.
Playing in Europe will also be a big opportunity for the team to show its identity to another part of the world. Ever since head coach John Tortorella took over this team, the Rangers’ have established an identity that is tough to break when it is true to its form. Last season, the Rangers sacrificed their bodies, learned to play from behind, never quit and never backed down, showing its fans that they have a team they can be proud of every single night.
This will also be a chance for some Rangers to play in their hometown. For example, the Blueshirts will take on Frolunda in a preseason tilt. If you do not know this already, Rangers’ goaltender Henrik Lundqvist starred for them before coming over to North America to play for the Rangers.
It is going to be a long and somewhat grueling trip but if the Rangers can grow together, play within themselves and play their style of hockey, they could end up coming back to this side of the country an even more respected hokcey team than they are right now.
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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.