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Ringing in the New Year


So the Blueshirts have played 40 games and finished the year 2009 with a solid 2-1 victory over the Hurricanes. After having maybe their worst performance - ever - in a 6-0 drubbing at the Garden vs. Philly, it was good to see the guys rebound. They surrendered only 18 shots, one of their lowest marks of the year.

But now that we are basically half-way through the season, what do we know about this Rangers team?

We know that Marian Gaborik is better than advertised after those years wasting away in Minnesota, Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinksy play as hard as they can every night, and Chris Drury, though a great captain, will never be a 40-goal scorer again.

Defensemen Michael Del Zotto is better than most of us thought and a great power play quarterback, Marc Staal and Dan Girardi are as solid as it gets in the defensive zone, and Michael Roszival is awful. Period.

That big tough guy Donald Brashear is not going to win the hearts of Ranger fans any time soon, especially since he hasn't KOed anybody.

Oh, and that king between the pipes is alright.

This is a team that can win tough grinding games as easily as they can forget to show up to the rink at all. They have enough talent to play with any team in the league when they put it all together.

But what does all of this tell us about a shot at the postseason? Absolutely squat.

The reality of this Rangers squard is that they are way too inconsistent to make any judgements about at this point. Through ten games they were maybe the best team in hockey. Through the next thirty they have been cold more often than they have even been look warm. Tortorella himself has said that he doesn't understand it, so how can we the fans have any idea what is going on.

I for one think that this team will do enough, as it has in the last two years, to get into the playoffs. Once there, anything can happen. They have the talent and goaltending to go all the way and the mental instability to get swept in the first round.

Hopefully the year 2010 will give us a better picture of the Rangers, even if it is one we don't want to see.

-Mike Valvano


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