Rangers don’t have the same time to fix problems as last year’s team

After thirteen games last season, Rangers were in a bit of a mess. They were 7-3-3, okay, but the record was sandcastle-type stuff, built almost entirely on Igor Shesterkin’s work in another world in the grid.

In fact, the thirteenth game for the blue jersey in 2021-22 was a 4-3 victory over the Panthers in the park on November 8, 2021, during which several warts were revealed early in the season. Chesterkin was under siege, and his team lost 45-18 overall and 17-3 in the third period. In addition, Puddy Tats bumped into the guard of the net with impunity and without any meaningful response.

“It’s not like we haven’t had any ordeal last year,” Mika Zibanijad told The Post on Monday. “I think we were worse at this time.”

Coincidentally, though, the Blueshirts got a three-day break after that Florida game that allowed coach Gerald Gallant to put his players through remedial work in a brief training camp 2. When they came out of the lab, they were a more solid, disciplined team, transforming the their defensive zone, and they went in a 10-1 run to essentially close out a place in a playoff by the first week of December.

It was reset. Reset necessary.

This year after Their worrying 3-2 extra loss to the red wings On Sunday he left Rangers 6-4-3, but 3-3-3 in the last nine, and putting their leaders on the wrong end of a stunning public reprimand (for him) from the coach, there was no such favorable break. the event.

Instead, the Rangers greeted the island’s predatory residents at the park on Tuesday and will then go on the road to Nashville and Detroit on Thursday and Saturday. Rangers will have to create an identity on the go.

Mika Zipanjad during the Rangers match against Red Wings on November 6, 2022.
Mika Zipanjad during the Rangers match against Red Wings on November 6, 2022.
Cory Sibkin/New York Post

We’re still trying to figure out who we are,” Kander Miller told The Post. “We lost some people from last year’s team. It will take time.

“We have new guys and guys in different positions of responsibility. We need to clean up our game. I’m definitely not noticing any panic. We are looking forward to getting to our game.”

It has been said several times that Rangers will play this season according to the expectations created by the race to the Conference Finals last season. But this charge marked the top six players Ryan Strom, Frank Vatrano and Andrew Cope and the third, defender Justin Brown. They have all gone.

You shouldn’t cry for them, but this group of guys is measured by that group. It shouldn’t sneak up on anyone. But it kind of has to do with the Rangers, who entered the season as stalkers rather than hunters – and without the Stanley Cup to ensure they were a target.

“It’s definitely a different situation,” Zibanjad said. “There wasn’t a lot of expectation last year. Maybe the teams missed us. But this year, every team in the league looks at us a little differently.

“There is pressure but that shouldn’t be negative. I’m sure we can handle this. It’s not like we’re not playing well – the first period against Detroit was great – but we have to do it on a more consistent basis.

“We kept building last year. That’s where we are now. That’s what we have to do, I think everyone expects more from themselves.”

Copp, Vatrano and Braun arrived around the trade deadline last season when general manager Chris Drury had plenty of maximum space. At this juncture, the Rangers — which still have a 23-man max roster — will get roughly $765,500 to work on the deadline, according to CapFri Friendly.

Gerard Gallant on the Rangers bench on May 13, 2022.
Gerard Gallant on the Rangers bench on May 13, 2022.

In other words, there is no point in expecting reinforcements. The cavalry is already here.

This, of course, is prominently shown by Zipanegad, who leads the team with seven goals and is running at a pace that equals a beautiful season of 43 goals. Six of the numbers came up in a power play, including the good timer he sent home on Sunday. One of them was recorded skiing shortened.

This means that none of them came at five over five in 173:39 ice time.

Zipanjad almost burst into laughter when I asked him, a few minutes after our conversation on Tuesday, if it affected him.

“It’s not funny,” he said, “but I knew you were going to ask.” “I’ve been waiting for this question.

“Obviously I want to score. I think I was in my position and had enough good chances to get by now. But it would be much worse if I had no goals at all.

“There are long periods of time, but one of the things I learned during playoffs is that you can’t get hung up on things,” said the 29-year-old Swede, who is tied for the PPG top spot with Conor McDavid. “I’m working hard, I’m looking to create more attack but it’s not just about five for five.

“When they put me in the power game, I’ll keep shooting.”

This formula worked. This year’s Rangers must find the formula that works for them.

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