New York Hockey: Marion Gaborik

Donnie Pucks: Rangers' 2011 resolutions

January, 3, 2011
Score more consistently.

The New York Rangers have scored 119 goals this season. Not bad. But if they want to contend with the Pens and the Flyers they need to rely on their offense more. That means Marion Gaborik has to be a star and stay healthy. If that can happen they should be ok.

Get Marty Biron playing well.

If Biron plays well, then John Tortorella will have no problem getting him some playing time. Down the stretch and in the postseason Henrik Lundqvist will be playing every game. He'll need his rest. The only way to get it is to rely on Biron.

Help Michael Del Zotto find his game.

Del Zotto was a super rookie. His sophomore year has been a struggle. He's been a healthy scratch way too much. They need him to get back to form.

Get healthy.

The Rangers will be in great shape with Ryan Callahan and Erik Christensen back in the lineup. Callahan is the heart and soul. Christensen adds depth and is awesome in the shootout. They need them back.

I believe this a playoff team. With a little help, maybe even more than that.

Donnie Pucks: What we learned about the Rangers in November

December, 1, 2010
We learned that the New York Rangers can survive injuries.

If I were to tell you before the season that Marion Gaborik would play just 13 games, Chris Drury one game and Vinny Prospal zero, you would never have believed that the Blueshirts would be above .500.

Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky are ready to take the next step.

Rangers fans have waited for this pair to mature into stars. This has been a great start. Both needed to step up and they have.

Dubinsky and Callahan are No. 1 and No. 2 in scoring on the team. For Dubinsky, seven of his goals and 11 of his 20 points have come in November. Callahan's leadership is in high gear.

Martin Biron deserves some playing time.

Biron is 4-1 in November. He has shown that the Rangers don't have to play Henrik Lundqvist 70-plus games this year to make the playoffs. Biron has displayed talent that could get him to 20 starts this season.

Brian Boyle can score.

In October, Boyle tied his career high in goals for a season with four. He followed it up with six in November. Boyle is showing why the Kings drafted him in the first round in 2003 and why the Rangers traded a third-round pick to get him.

Playing at home is still a problem.

Even though their record was better at MSG in November, it was still just 4-4. The Blueshirts are three games above .500 overall but two games under at home.

Donnie Pucks: Opening Nightmare

October, 16, 2010

The Rangers lost to the Maple Leafs on opening night at the Garden, 4-3 in OT. However, that is far from telling the story of how tough this night was for the Blueshirts.

The list on injuries reads worse then the box score.
  • Chris Drury: broken finger, out six weeks
  • Marian Gaborik: separated shoulder, out two to three weeks
  • Vinny Prospal: yet to play this season, will have knee surgery Tuesday, out indefinitely.
How can a team that was borderline to make the playoffs in full health make it now? The better question is, who will be able to surpass expectations and carry this team through the first month of the season?

Alex Frolov: He was brought here to be a secondary scorer to Gaborik. He now has to be the best. He's had two 30-goal seasons in his career. Now he needs a third.

Brandon Dubinsky: He tallied 20 goals last season in just 69 games. This season expectations are greater. He's off to a great start with three goals in three games.

Ryan Callahan: Last year, he came within one goal of back-to-back 20-goal seasons. His work ethic is among the best on the team. He also needs to reach the 30 goal mark.

By the way, I spoke to Adam Graves on Friday before the game. He expected both Dubinsky and Callahan to have big seasons.

Everyone will have to do a little extra for sure. These three, however, will be the ones to carry the load until the team gets healthy.

Teams don't make the playoffs in October and November, but they sure can dig a hole way to deep to climb out of.

Character to me is not a question with this team -- scoring is. These next few week will tell how big a question that is.