The lockout is over -- and hockey is back! With that in mind, here are three questions facing the Rangers as they head into training camp.
How is Rick Nash going to respond to the pressure of playing in the Big Apple?
Nash played his entire career in Columbus. During his time there, the Blue Jackets made the playoffs just once. Expectations are going to be higher in New York, and Nash will face a lot more media scrutiny. Nash had 30 goals but was a minus-19 last season. The Rangers, however, figure he’ll return to form playing for a contender for the first time.
What can we expect from Chris Kreider?
Kreider emerged as a star for the Rangers in the playoffs last season, scoring five goals in 17 games. But the 21-year-old struggled for AHL-Connecticut during the lockout, netting just five goals in 33 games. New York is expecting big things from the youngster, who has a ton of talent and is expected to play on one of the top two lines. It will be interesting to see what kind of production the Rangers get from Kreider.
Should the Rangers be considered the favorites to come out of the East?
Why not? They have Henrik Lundqvist, along with arguably the best set of defensemen (they needed to get restricted free agent Michael Del Zotto signed) in the NHL. Plus, Torts said Monday that Marian Gaborik (shoulder injury) will be ready to go by the start of the season. The Rangers appear to have all the ingredients needed to make a run at the Stanley Cup. They’ve just got to stay healthy and score consistently.