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Who are the New York Rangers?

January 6th, 2014 at 2:44 PM
By Ricky Cibrano

'NY Rangers vs Boston Bruins' photo (c) 2006, V Manninen - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Will the real New York Rangers please stand up?

In their last two games, its been two radically different results for the Blueshirts. They embarrassed Toronto 7-1 on Saturday, but laid an egg the night before against Pittsburgh 5-2.

For a team that is 21-20-2, inconsistency has been a serious problem all season.

The Rangers had a miserable 2-6-0 start, appeared to turn the proverbial corner in winning 8 of their next 11 to get over .500, but then proceeded to turn into a win one, lose one team. The last few weeks have seen the Blueshirts lose 6 of the first 7 of a homestand, but somehow shrug that off to win 5 of the next 7 and again crawl above .500.

It's been maddening to watch.

The Rangers look like a playoff team at times, while at others they're plagued by silly mistakes and appear destined for a top-10 pick. So are they the team that dominated Toronto, or the one that appeared overmatched by the Penguins?

The answer lies somewhere in between. The Blueshirts, as they are currently composed, are absolutely good enough to make the playoffs–especially in the extraordinarily average Metropolitan Division. But are they capable of being an elite team? One with true, not farfetched, Stanley Cup aspirations?

Nope.

The Rangers are a swift, smallish, team, with a strong defense Corp, one big star, and good goaltending…at least when everyone plays up to their potential, which hasn't been very often. But they have neither the top-end skill of a Chicago nor the scoring depth of a Boston.

Alain Vigneault's squad has more potential than they've consistently shown, but even consistency will only take them so far.


Notes

-Starting tonight against Columbus, the Rangers play 8 of their next 10 at the Garden.

-Dan Carcillo skated with the team today, but won't play–not a shock given the last game's outcome. On being traded:

"I was kind of shocked, but I welcome it. This is a good place to be. Great team. Young. It's a great opportunity to bring whatever I can with leadership and experience, and help in any way they want me to."

-Vigneault on Carcillo: 

"He brings an energy level..a physical dimension that I think teams need. You need that greasy type player that brings that emotion and energy and grinding game to the forefront. I think Dan brings that. He's done it in the past, and when we do need him I think he'll be a good force for us."

-It'll be Henrik Lundqvist vs. Sergei Bobrovsky in net. Bobrovsky will be making his first start since injuring his groin December 3rd.

Tags: Alain Vigneault, Dan Carcillo, Henrik Lundqvist, Hockey, New York, New York Rangers, NHL, Sergei Bobrovsky

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