Last night's 5 - 2 win against Tampa Bay gave Ranger fans some answers:
- The power play is capable of success
- Chris Drury has not lost his Buffalo-caliber scoring
- Michal Rozsival does not make a poor pass every time
- The Rangers can rebound after bad losses
However, with these answers also come questions.
- How could a power play that looks fairly cohesive last night, be so awful throughout the season thus far?
- What took Drury so long to find his scoring touch?
- If Rozsival is so capable as a defenseman, what could make him commit such egregious errors?
- If the Rangers can play so well against Tampa Bay, how could they collapse against the Islanders and Maple Leafs?
Both perspectives are valid and there is a middle ground. This team is still developing. We have seen some incredible rays of hope, but also seen their vulnerabilities.
The real question becomes: how will this team shake out?
Is this a deep team, with a nice mix of veteran experience and youthful exuberence? Is this a dramatically over-estimated team that is playing above their true talent level? Does this team have the abrasiveness and leadership to continue strong play throughout the season?
New York has yet to really answer these questions. Since game one, the fans have waited for a 60 - minute effort. A game in which they could identify what identity this franchise has. Yet, we have yet to really be able and establish such an identity.
The Rangers have a lot of inconsistencies. Consider it: consistent inconsistencies.
Sometimes they hit and are a hard nosed team. Other times, they merely try to rely on skating, fancy passing, and stickwork to lead them.
Occasionally they have exceptional special teams. More often, they are disjointed units that try and will their way through situations.
When will fans be able to establish this team identity?
Maybe their identity is that of inconsistency, but heart.
(Photo from Yahoo Images, Al Bello/ Getty Images)
Posted On Friday, November 7, 2008 at at 11:23 AM by Woodside Acres