Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/18/13 at 11:14 AM ET
from Dave Lozo of NHL.com,
Before the puck dropped on the 2012-13 season, it wasn't hard to find prognosticators willing to say the New York Rangers were going to win the Stanley Cup. On this web site alone, six experts picked the Rangers to reach their first Cup Final since 1994 with three of them choosing the Rangers to win it all.
It wasn't tough to see why the Rangers were among the favorites to win the Cup. They were coming off a season in which they finished first in the Eastern Conference with 109 points and reached the conference finals. The Rangers did it all with a young, developing core and appeared to improve in the offseason, adding Rick Nash in a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets without losing a top-six forward or key defenseman in free agency in the process.
An unexpected bonus to the offseason was the delayed start to the season, which allowed Marian Gaborik to recover from shoulder surgery that would have sidelined him for at least the first month of the season.
Yet through 27 games, the Rangers are 13-12-2 and sitting in 10th place in the East, three points out of a playoff spot. They have lost three in a row in regulation for the first time this season, and despite the addition of Nash, are scoring fewer goals per game this season (2.33) than they did last season (2.71).
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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