The New York Rangers have been one of the better teams in the Atlantic Division for the past few years because of their hard work, strong defensive play and balanced offense instilled by coach John Tortorella.
But Tortorella is gone and replaced by Alain Vigneault. That could be a good or bad thing for the team. Tortorella demanded a lot from his players and was quick to criticize them. Vigneault is more of a player’s coach, but either way the Rangers saw success with Tortorella behind the bench.
Vigneault will have mainly the same balanced offense as Tortorella with Rick Nash leading the charge. Ryan Callahan and Derek Stepan will be secondary scorers, while Brad Richards will look for a bounce-back season.
Depth is the Rangers’ main asset on offense. They can run three lines that score, while also playing strong defense.
While there’s depth on offense, there may be even more on defense with Marc Staal, Michael Del Zotto, Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh. While Del Zotto is known to make some mistakes in his own end, the others are great puck-movers and shut-down defensemen.
Perhaps the greatest reason for the Rangers’ success in the past few years is the man in net. Henrik Lundqvist has played at Veziner-caliber levels to help his team into the playoffs and achieve success.
The Rangers like to block shots, so if the Canes want to score, they’ll have to get shots through players and get Lundqvist moving side-to-side.
With New York’s balance on offense, the Hurricanes’ forwards will need to emphasize on their own end.