Rangers Finally Get Their Top Scorers Going

(Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire)

With a certain team in Queens grabbing all the headlines this October, the beginning of the hockey season is very easy to overlook.

But the sport on ice is alive and well with the three area teams playing to various degrees of success.

Most notably, the Rangers – a team that notoriously starts slow, improved their record to 5-2-1 tonight after beating the Arizona Coyotes, 4-1. And even with this type of success, the Blueshirts have had their problems, especially with top line scoring.

Going into tonight’s game, last year’s goal leader Rick Nash has yet to light the lamp; Chris Kreider started out slow and even the offensive defensemen have not lived up to par.

“I said all along I was feeling good,” Nash said.  “I have been feeling that my game is strong and I have been feeling fast.  The chances are there…So I think it’s a matter of, they’re going to come.”

Kreider tied the game in the second, while Nash and Keith Yandle scored to notch their first tallies of the season in the third, with the Rangers playing their strongest final 20 minutes of the season.

“Kreids and Nasher obviously for both those guys, because they’ve been working hard,” said coach Alain Vigneault. “Kreids’ goal was important for us. It was a quick transition; it was a fast-paced goal that we like to play. Like we mentioned many times, there’s no easy game in this league and tonight was another example of that.”

The Rangers are going to need their best offensive players to score for them to duplicate their success of the past few season that saw the Blueshirts move to at least the Conference Final three of the past four seasons.

But now for the good news. At 5-2-1, the Rangers are pacing around 112 points, which is just one off from last season’s record total, so all’s not that bad. Yet if you watched the first eight games of the season, you can see the Rangers are not clicking on all cylinders.

“I think the one thing is we were explaining to each other how important these two points were,” Nash said.  “You think you’re going against a team that is not in your Division, not in your Conference, its October, and we just tried to put an emphasis on how important these two points were and we needed them.”

Very important, but there’s still a lot of season left to go. As the Mets have proven, if you team is not up to par early on, you can turn on the jets later and still go to the final.

The Rangers will be fine.

They have just seemed a little off the first three weeks.

OK, now back to the Mets.

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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