Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Much Ado About Nothing

New York Ranger fans got to rest easy for all of 12 seconds on Tuesday as the Marc Staal emergency has been upstaged by the wonky groin of Brad Richards.

Richard was held out practice because of a reported "sore groin" and at this rate the odds of the New York Ranger fans surviving the NHL preseason without going insane are decreasing by the hour.

What more than anything else Ranger fans really need will be wins as more than any other year, one can say the exhibition games have meaning. For the Rangers this year they really do as with the team opening up on the road and against some tougher than fans may think opposition, fan confidence will be shaky to begin with.

If it were up to us then for the North American part of the Ranger exhibition schedule that we would have one top line dressed for each game. Let the Ranger fans see Dubi/Anisimov/Callahan together or use a top prospect on at least 2/3rds of a line to build fan confidence as much as one can.

New Jersey and Philadelphia are 2 teams that the Rangers are just as good as if not better from a talent perspective. Win those 3 games and head to Europe with a good feeling for the fans.

Right now the Ranger training camp is looking more and more like a MASH unit that a team that is expected to make some noise in the NHL's Eastern Conference. Get Marc Staal out on the ice and Brad Richards has "soreness" in his groin.

The way injuries are going (and sounding) it is almost like Sather and Tortorella meet daily to see how many ways they can torture Ranger fans.

"OK John it is my turn, put out a press release that says that Marian Gaborik has been infected by space aliens and could miss the season."

Ranger fans are fragile when it comes to believing in the franchise and hard to argue with why they feel that way. Too many years of empty promises can do that but maybe Ranger fans are now too quick to expect the worst to happen.

The best way to change that mindset is to win games and not an odd game here and there but to put up a run in order to build some confidence. If there ever was a season where the Rangers needed to follow up a big win with another win then it has to be this season.

When one looks at the Atlantic Division then this is the year where the Penguins could miss Crosby for most of the season, the Flyers foolishly gave away their 2 best players, the Devils got older not better and the Islanders are still a year or two away from becoming a legit threat.

Everything is in place for the Rangers to possibly sneak up on people and make some noise after all these years of being pretenders. Winning the cup no not expecting the Rangers to make that kind of leap but at least out of the first round for a change.

If you are waiting for Glen Sather to leave before something good can happen then forget it as after all that has gone wrong don't you think that Sather wants to leave on a winning note himself?

Heck that could be your reason to want to see the Rangers win as win and Sather starts to ease his way into retirement.

So maybe the motto of the Rangers this season should be "Win one for retirement."

But can we please relax and not let every bump in the road signal the disaster that destroys the season? At the very least can we wait for something bad to actually happen before panicking?

After all it is not like Brendan Bell has been brought in to be the Ranger's savior right?

(Staal courtesy New York Rangers)

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