Today we are doing our second installment of Ranger Dark Side (somebody queue that song from the Eddie and the Cruisers soundtrack). The idea is to introduce some of our deep seated fears about the upcoming Rangers season - the Dark Side - and then try our best to dispel those bad feelings with some counter-arguments (the Bright Side). (Here was our first go round if you want to take a peek)
It's all very new age-y but its Ranger Hockey at the same time. Okay - here we go:
The Dark Side: The Rangers, by essentially swapping Gomez for Gaborik on the salary cap - have gone from a team with a center who had no one to pass it to - to a team with someone to pass to but no Center to do it
The Bright Side: This is much better than last year's predicament. Because Gaborik will get the puck sometimes - no matter who centers for him - and so he will get some shots of and will score some goals. And the Rangers can put something out there at Center - we have some talented guys on the roster who can adapt or grow into that role.
The Dark Side: Lundqvist appears to be getting worse each year
The Bright Side: Hank has been worn down by ex-coach Tom Renny's style, the Rangers defensive troubles, and simple over-use. John Tortorella will coach differently, keep the puck out of Hank's vicinity, rest him more, and will give him more leads to work with. All of that will take some pressure of the Swede and will result in a bounce back year.