Saturday, August 20, 2011

Video: Rangers Season Preview

E.J. Hradek gives a New York Rangers 2011-12 season preview over at  He views the Rangers as a playoff team this season, but does not elaborate on where he sees them in the standings.  Marian Gaborik is considered the biggest question mark for the Rangers in determining their success for this year.

Rangers "Virtual Lock" To Make Playoffs?

We have come to the end of August and training camp is around the corner finally for the 2011-12 NHL season.  This time of year sees all the different outlets start their season previews for each team and predictions for how they will do.  Dave Lozo at conducted the preview of this years Rangers squad and views them as a virtual lock to make the playoffs.
If the Rangers can avoid half the injuries they suffered last season, not only will they be a lock for the playoffs, but they'll contend for the Atlantic Division. They have a solid group of young defensemen who showed improvement throughout last season and a world-class goaltender in Henrik Lundqvist there to cover up any mistakes.

Consistency from the offense will be key. If the Rangers have it, they could find themselves in the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
The consistent offense is something this team has not seen in years, especially from multiple sources, but they do have the talent this year to do just that.  Beyond offense, as with most teams, the biggest concern for New York will be injuries and more than just the sheer number of them it will be who gets them.  The Rangers battled through admirably last year when they were without Ryan Callahan and Marian Gaborik for significant time as well as shorter losses for Brandon Dubinsky and Marc Staal.  If their core players, especially Henrik Lundqvist can stay healthy this year, then Lozo is right they should at least make the playoffs because of the base they are working with.  Calling them a lock is a bit more than I would do because of the unknown injuries, chemistry questions and questions within the lineup both for spots and if players can repeat career years, but expectations should certainly be that playoff hockey will come to MSG next spring.