Rangers Go 4-0 On Road Trip

OTTAWA, ON - OCTOBER 23: New York Rangers Defenceman Adam Fox (23) congratulates New York Rangers Defenceman Ryan Lindgren (55) on a goal during third period National Hockey League action between the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators on October 23, 2021, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, ON, Canada. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Bill Parcells once famously said “you are what your record says you are” however this current version of the New York Rangers are not what their record says they are. The Blueshirts might be sitting at 4-1-1 right now but their play on the ice hasn’t lived up to that thus far.

While it’s fantastic that the Rangers have found ways to grind out wins and get early points that will matter down the stretch, their play isn’t exactly deserving of their early record.

Outside of the second period against the Dallas Stars the Rangers haven’t been setting the world on fire offensively. This team clearly has a scoring issue right now and a large part of that is because of the lack of scoring to start from Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad.

The biggest bright spot so far has been the Vezina caliber goaltending from Igor Shesterkin who stole three out of the four wins for the Rangers on their early road trip.

Shesterkin’s performances so far have been eerily reminiscent of Henrik Lundqvist being the backbone of this franchise for so many years. Biggest problem of winning off the back of your goalie is that it’s not sustainable when you get later in the season or the playoffs against better teams.

Another major issue moving forward would be this club’s lack of depth on the wing. Kaapo Kakko going down has exposed one area that new GM Chris Drury did an inadequate job of addressing this offseason.

Let’s be honest when Dryden Hunt is on your 3rd line and second powerplay unit, your club has clearly have some depth issues on the wing. Paging Vitali Kravtsov anyone? Pretty glaring mishaps to go from too many wingers to suddenly not enough in a flash.

On to the positives of the early season:

Adam Fox has picked up where he left off last season and not only that he’s gotten even better which is an extremely scary thought for the rest of the league. Fox has been steady in his own end and he’s also picked up five points so far in the early season and that’s with the Rangers powerplay not clicking to start.

Once Panarin and Zibanejad get rolling and start finishing off chances expect Fox’s point total to jump through the roof.

The good news off the early four game trip is that the club walked away with eight points that last year or in years previous would’ve been unthinkable. This team clearly believes in their head coach and the philosophies and principles he’s been teaching them.

Under previous regimes the Rangers would’ve folded their tents and went home when teams would pour on offensive pressure. So far this year we’ve seen the team battle and stay in games that they rightfully have no right staying in or even winning. They have also had no problem mixing it up or “punching back” when the games get physical. That is one thing that’s a major takeaway so far for this club.

While there are still kinks to get out of their game and health issues to overcome, the Rangers find themselves with their heads above water to start the season. That’s always a good place to start the new season especially when you have a new head coach and as much youth and inexperience that the Rangers have.

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