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10-23-2011, 10:32 PM
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The big issue isn't the style of play. Most goals scored off the rush in the NHL are the result of a turnover. Right now, with the Rangers missing 2 of their top 4 defenders - they're missing half of their stoppers. Those guys that snuff out an offensive play before it develops and then quickly turn it back up with a strong outlet pass.

In other words, the current D is not causing enough turnovers. They're merely containing the other team. As an example, the Oilers had the puck far too much in the offensive zone last night and all we could do is contain. We never had the puck. Aside from McD and Girardi, the D isn't making those small plays to quickly get possession and turn the play around.

When you have Staal, Sauer, Girardi and McDonagh out there in the top 4 - we should do a better job at stopping the other team's offense. Interrupting their possession. Furthermore, not having Staal and Sauer out there, is killing the break out. Far too often we're throwing out of the D zone just to get it to center ice. Again, it's all about containment, not making plays.

The Rangers problems seem like they are in the offensive zone - and some of them are - but the real problem here is possession. They can't get the puck back. They need Staal and Sauer. It's a big problem against faster, offensively skilled teams. It tires out the whole team to play a containment game. Makes the forecheck very disjointed and hard to keep up. And also leads to some of the lazy penalties we're seeing.

That's why Torts was yelling about getting possession from the Oilers before the game. He knows it's the biggest problem.

Yes, we will need two more skilled forwards at some point to seriously contend for the cup or at least the presidents trophy. But it shouldn't stop us from being competitive most games just like last year.

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