You Decide: The Key To The NYR Success This Year

We want your help in deciding the most important story line for next season (Getty Images)

We want your help in deciding the most important story line for next season (Getty Images)

It is September 1st, which means – “IS IT OCTOBER YET?” comes with more anticipation and meaning. Let’s warm up with 4 key story lines for the upcoming season that could be the tipping factor for Blueshirt success.


NAMING A CAPTAIN

We know now that had the Rangers won the Stanley Cup last year, Brad Richards would have accepted the trophy. Now that he has departed via compliance buyout, the honor would fall to a Ranger who will not only lead for this season but possibly the next decade.

MSL will clear a path for McD as Captain ( Harry How/Getty Images North America)

MSL will clear a path for McD as Captain ( Harry How/Getty Images North America)

Marty St. Louis may be the most vocal Ranger in the room and his words hold weight based on his career accomplishments. Still, he doesn’t need the ‘C’ to validate or authorize him to do it. Because of that and also because no other Ranger meets the bill quite as well, Ryan McDonagh gets the nod from us.

With the hierarchy in place and roles well established, could something so small push the Rangers over the top?

A Return To Form For Rick Nash

He is the highest paid forward on the team. He is big, strong and loaded with talent. Rick Nash is also the scapegoat for all the Rangers’ problems and it is uncalled for.

Rick Nash must return to the 35-40 goal club (Getty Images)

Rick Nash must return to the 35-40 goal club (Getty Images)

Bottom line, if the Rangers want to see success – Nash has to be Nash. That means a return to the high 30’s to mid 40’s goal club. NY will need his scoring this season especially. With all the turnover and unproven youth in the bottom 6, his goals will count for almost double this season.

Make no mistake, he needs to score in the post-season, but you also need to get there first.

FRONT AND CENTER

The Rangers are thinner down the middle. Of that there is no doubt. It doesn’t mean they are worse.

Derek Stepan needs to be the MAN in the middle (Getty)

Derek Stepan needs to be the MAN in the middle (Getty)

Face facts, Brad Richards was experienced but his numbers were going down each and every season he was here. The promise for the Blueshirts is that Stepan and Brassard are young and should only be getting better.

If both can improve to say 70+ points for Stepan and 60 for Brassard, the Rangers may be more than OK next season.

IN-KREID-ABLE

Chris Kreider. For next season that needs to be a sentence. He has speed and size with a shot to boot. If he can put it all together, there is no reason why he shouldn’t be a potential 50 goal scorer in the NHL.

Kreider scores and he needs to do it more! (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Woods)

Kreider scores and he needs to do it more! (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Woods)

For all the reasons we stated above, a 30 plus goal year out of Kreider could mean Atlantic Division Title and possibly Eastern Conference Championship. Of course, the likelihood of that happening is low.

It would be a lot to ask of him, but Chris Kreider could be the Rangers X-MAN in the upcoming season.

Tell us what you think!

 

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Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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