Memories abound

Who can recall last season when the Rangers were a win-one, lose-one team?

I am sure we all can. Which is why it is difficult to feel any sort of security with the Rangers play over the last handful of games.

Yes, they have bright spots, but at the same time they continue and lack cohesion. Unsettled line combinations, positioning miscues, etc. have all shown flaws in the Rangers' system. However, certain rushes, power plays, and defensive coverage have been phenomenal.

How, then, can the Rangers bring it all together?

We have spoke ad nauseum about settled line combinations (as has every other writer), so we will leave that alone for now.

I would also look to the special teams and question the personnel. If the powerplay is snake bitten, then why not place a Petr Prucha on a line just to try? The last time the Rangers had power play success, he was a huge part of it.

The defensive system also has to be more stable for this core group to work. New York has shown a poor trend of getting caught up ice and unfortunately they are not all for the fleet footed (ahem, Michael Rozsival). Pride has been taken the past few seasons in a defense first mentality and it seems as if the Rangers have gotten away from it.

This is also evidenced by some weak play on the boards. When the Rangers play well, they are the first to the puck. Recently, they have not been so lucky. If the defense spent less time chasing and more time dictating the play, it will give the offense more of an opportunity to set up and less fumbling through the neutral zone.

What is intriguing is that the Rangers have won playoff style games without these facets in place. Hard work, will, and tenacity have brought the Rangers success and if they can now tighten the ship, they will be a legitimate threat throughout the conference.

Over at The Hockey News, I will be doing a gameday review. Also, check out my column on Ranger Nation.

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