by Patrick Hoffman on 02/21/13 at 10:18 AM ET
If the New York Rangers want to have any kind of chance to both get into the postseason and go far in them, they will need a lot more offense.
In Tuesday night's 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, the Blueshirts probably had one of their worst offensive performances. There was no sustained pressure, not enough pucks thrown at Canadiens' netminder Carey Price and not enough flow to their game.
Things will not get any easier tonight as the team takes on the Ottawa Senators in Ottawa without one of their key offensive cogs, Rick Nash. Nash is out with an undisclosed injury and for Rangers' head coach John Tortorella, that means some serious creativity is going to be needed to come up with balanced offensive lines.
For whatever reason, scoring goals on a consistent basis has been a problem for the Rangers over the last few seasons. You can play great defense and get solid goaltending but without scoring goals, it will mean nothing and all go to waste.
The Rangers must find a way to generate more offense. Even without one of their best forwards in Nash, the club still has several offensive talents that can put the puck in the net and make plays.
The club must also find ways to generate more scoring opportunities. The team has to go to the dirty areas, get more shots from the slot, and crash the net for rebounds instead of looking for the perfect play.
With the team tied for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference, the offense must start clicking in some form to help the team move up in the standings. Every game is important and while the team is playing solid on defense, the offense has been another story.
A multiple goal effort and a win tonight in Ottawa would certainly be a start in moving things the right direction.
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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.