The excuses seemed legitimate as the New York Rangers began the 2013-2014 campaign with one win in their first five contests. They had a stretch of games that kept them on the road from preseason all the way until the end of October. They had injuries that had some of their heart and soul players sidelined. They also had a new head coach that was implementing an entirely different system than that under John Tortorella.
But now the Rangers are 32 games into the season and not much has changed, but Alain Vigneault has a new reason for their struggles.
Three games into their longest home stand of the season where they will host the next nine teams they face at Madison Square Garden, the Blueshirts have picked up one point in an overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils last Saturday. Since that 4-3 loss, New York has scored two goals while giving up eight. Henrik Lundqvist, who the Rangers sealed as their franchise goaltender for the rest of his career last week, was in net for all three losses.
What goal scorers? They already rely utterly on Nash. Kreider and Richards have exceeded expectations, Cally and his PPG's are out for a month. Whom?
I really think Kristo deserves a shot. He's got some offensive ability. Even though he's a work in progress on defense, this team needs offense desperately. I don't think it's going to set him back to get a few games in the bigs and if he proves he can score at the NHL level, he's worth keeping around.
As far as the defense hurting the team, I don't see that as a valid concern.
The excuses have been laid out in seemingly every post game presser. Frankly after the Western Canada trip in preseason, it was glaringly obvious that this system wasn't a fit for the personnel yet AV & Arnie keep running with it.
It's as if they are coaching to out of spite to prove a point rather than giving themselves the best chance to win. Minimizing losses early in the season with their excuses have set up this team lacking will.
AV's favorite response is we are being tested... well no **** you're being tested. You're being tested every freaking game, 82 times a year... and not winning equals failing that test.
What excuse is there for this organization going from #TheRightWay to #BeingTested?