Rangers showing heart and guts in the early going

Brassard and St. Louis have helped the Rangers stay above water (Getty)

Brassard and St. Louis have helped the Rangers stay above water (Getty)

It’s no secret that the Rangers have had some obstacles to overcome early in the season. There was already uncertainty with the changing roster, but with all the injuries and cap juggling, the Rangers have been put to the test. Not to mention that all eyes are on them after their run to the Finals last season.

Before the season even started, Derek Stepan broke his leg and as of now has been cleared for contact, but has not been put into the lineup. Stepan practiced and took line rushes and looks ready to play Saturday in Toronto.

Dan Boyle was also at practice and is hoping to make his return next week. In the first game of the season against the St. Louis Blues, Dan Boyle broke his hand and been out ever since.

Without their number one center, Stepan, that meant Vigneault had to move players around. Martin St. Louis who usually plays on the wing was placed at center, but after 6 games of that, St. Louis was moved back to his normal position (and as we saw on Wednesday night, it’s reaping rewards).

With Dan Boyle out, Matt Hunwick who originally won the spot as the seventh defenseman over Mike Kostka has been a gift from the hockey gods. He may even force AV into a difficult decision when John Moore finishes serving his 5 game suspension.

Ryan McDonagh is now out for 3-4 weeks with a shoulder injury, and that at one point left the team with only 2 of their top 6 defenseman (Girardi and Staal) when Kevin Klein also went out.. NY gutted out a point in each game with the likes of Hunwick,Kostka, Allen and McIlrath in the lineup.

Mike Kostka now forced back into the lineup, had much to prove after he gave up two turnovers against the Islanders for goals. He’s done admirably. With all these issues on defense, the Rangers picked up points in five of their last six games.

Dan Boyle today at practice in a contact jersey 11.7.14 (NYR)

Dan Boyle today at practice in a contact jersey 11.7.14 (NYR)

The Blueshirts realize there is work to be done and they have yet to find a long-term successful formula, but they never give up that it will come soon. Rick Nash has reemerged as a top forward and has been a consistent part of the Blueshirts lineup. Martin St. Louis is also putting up necessary points, along with Derick Brassard. If the Rangers are going to survive this tough time, they need to be able to lean more on their offense.

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 05: The New York Rangers celebrate after a 4-3 overtime win against the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden on November 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

NYR celebrate win (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Rangers have found a way to dig deep, get points and win some games. While players come in and out of the lineup, the heart that the Blueshirts have is never missing. They believe in themselves, which makes their fans believe in them. If the Rangers are managing right now, I am excited to see what the rest of the season will bring.

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