Ranger Fans’ Phobia: What Scares Me About This NYR Team
Coming off a season where the Rangers made the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since the spring of 1994, you’d think confidence in the team would be sky high. A majority of the team is pretty young, and getting better. Also, we still have Henrik Lundqvist in his prime playing goal. So what could possibly scare me about this team? Well here are a few things that give me the heebie-jeebies.
1. Second Line Center
Who is it going to be? Brassard? You’d have to take him away from Zuccarello in all likelihood, and nobody really wants that. JT Miller? I don’t think he’s ready for second line, although I’d like to see him start the season in New York and not Connecticut. Kevin Hayes? He’s not ready in my mind, and when he does go up to NY, he’ll probably be playing his natural position of RW. It’ll be interesting to see what AV does, my guess is that they put Brassard in that spot, and either Miller or someone from Hartford on the 3rd line in the middle.
2. Lundqvist Getting Older
He’s a stud, don’t get me wrong. But he’s not a 26 year old kid anymore. Every year takes more and more out of you, and there has to come a point where he starts to decline. I’d love to see him continue to get better and better as he gets older, but you never know what might happen. Still, Marty Brodeur was effective for a long time.
3. The 4th Line
One of the reasons the Rangers made it as far as they did last year was their depth, and the effectiveness of the 4th line. Now this offseason the Rangers lost both a key PK guy and faceoff man in Brian Boyle, along with gritty wingers Derek Dorsett and Daniel Carcillo. Throw in Benoit Pouliot on the 3rd line and you will likely see some trickle-down effect.
From the looks of it, there are four spots on the bottom 2 lines where it will be some combination of Dom Moore, Carl Hagelin, Lee Stempniak, Kevin Hayes, JT Miller, Tanner Glass (worst signing of the summer, by a longshot), etc. The question will be; is there some combination that can be as good as the bottom 2 lines were for the Rangers throughout April and May of this spring? Question will soon be answered.
4. Rekindling The Magic of the Spring
We were 3 games awayfrom the Cup, and most people agree we deserved a much better fate in that series. Yet, there was a time in the second round where we were down 3-1, got booed off of MSG ice, and were one game from elimination. Can the Rangers find that same kind of desperation during this upcoming season and more importantly the playoffs that they played with after game 4 of the second round this year? So many questions.
Losing sucks. Losing in the Stanley Cup finals where 3 of the 4 losses were in overtime, including double overtime in 2 of the 3 – THAT REALLY SUCKS. There can’t be a letdown this season or it could be over before it gets going. I think there’s a solid group of veterans on this team that won’t let that happen. But remember – I’m a Rangers fan and always scared out of my mind!
Fear or Fear Not – we all bleed Blue. LET’S GO RANGERS!