The Rangers And Their Fans Need To Trust The Process
Trust the process. We’ve all heard sports teams going through a rebuild mention that phrase. Now, Rangers fans, more than ever, need to trust the process. This season has already proven that it’s going to be one of the moral victories and hard-fought losses more than anything. I’ve seen people across all of social media already extremely angry with how the season is going and calling out players and coaches. Well, get used to this team but there are a lot of silver linings to look at this early in the season. Let’s jump in.
Yes, this team is indeed 0-3-0 but make no mistake about it, this is the most competitive 0-3-0 team you’ll ever see. This Rangers team is playing with a snarl, they’re playing with speed and tenacity and you can see the players beginning to buy-in to David Quinn’s system. The structure is there. Even the power-play has looked good these past three games. Pavel Buchnevich has been a revelation since the pre-season; you can tell he isn’t scared anymore. Jesper Fast, Chris Kreider, Filip Chytil and even Brett Howden have all been bright spots to begin the season. For a team that is 0-3-0, there is plenty to be excited about.
Opening night of the season this team went blow for blow with the Nashville Predators, a team many consider a favorite for the Stanley Cup. Two days later, they were stymied by Carter Hutton in Buffalo but still played a solid game overall. And on Sunday night, the team had the offense firing on all cylinders but the defense didn’t hold up. There are a lot of positives to take in this situation. The sky isn’t falling, Rangers fans. Of course, there are things this team needs to improve upon and that begins with the defense.
This year was always going to be a rough year for the Rangers’ defense corps. Kevin Shattenkirk is coming off of an injury, Marc Staal and newcomer Adam McQuaid have just not been that great. Brady Skjei has looked better than last season but it seems Neal Pionk and Tony DeAngelo still don’t have the full trust of their coaches just yet. This is the area of the team that will take the longest to improve over the course of this rebuild. The organization’s top defensive prospects in K’Andre Miller and Nils Lundkvist are still a few years away and at the top of next year’s draft there are too many elite forwards for the Rangers to pass up. It’s going to be up to Quinn and his staff to get the most out of this defense going forward. The defensive struggles will most likely be a season long thing.
This is a Rangers team that also requires some finishers. Guys with the ability to just put the puck in the net when the team needs it most. Help is coming and it will be here sooner rather than later. Vitali Kravtsov looks better than advertised and is already showing the Rangers why they were right to pick him ninth overall. Check out some of his KHL highlights, you won’t be disappointed.
Going back to the Rangers draft position this year, it’s clear that they will have a high pick. Some fans are already dreaming of Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko in Rangers‘ blue next season and it could very well happen. However, fans need to be prepared for how much losing it would take for us to achieve that goal.
All I’m trying to say here is don’t let this start worry you. Don’t simply just look at the record and be discouraged. This was supposed to happen. The Rangers need to go through this and management set this up with “the letter“ last season. We want our team to win, we want them to climb the mountain and achieve glory that the city of New York hasn’t experienced since 1994. We want Henrik Lundqvist to get his name etched on the Stanley Cup. We need to have a little more patience, we need to understand that sacrifices will need to be made this season to set us up for the draft lottery and we need to, above all, trust the process.