The last time the Winnipeg Jets and New York Rangers squared off, it was Olli Jokinen's coming out party as his two goal night, coupled with some timely goaltending from Ondrej Pavelec was enough to lift the Jets past the Rangers by a 4-3 final.
As part of our gameday coverage, we had a few questions relating to the Rangers before puck-drop later this evening.
With that, here's Joe Fortunato of Blueshirt Banter in today's instalment of Gameday Questionnaire:
1. What has been the biggest issue plaguing the Rangers this season.
I think there have been two main issues the Rangers have run into. The first, is that the team made some pretty significant changes between last year and this year, and without a training camp to help the team gel, they stumbled out of the gate. The second issue -- which is hurting almost every team -- is injuries. The Rangers have been without Rick Nash, Ryan Callahan, Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal, Dan Girardi and even Brad Richards for chunks of this season so far. That hurts in a lot of different ways, including the chemistry. I do think the Rangers are finding their game, but it's been a rocky start for sure.
2. At what point does John Tortorella have to question his job security? Will management allow him a mulligan in 2013 or will there be a price to pay should the Rangers miss the playoffs?
Not this year, and probably not next year either. John Tortorella dragged last year's team to the Eastern Conference finals, and the Rangers (especially General Manager Glen Sather) aren't a team that makes panic decisions. You can't make a good call (in my opinion) off of a shortened season. There are too many variables. So does Tortorella have another year even if the Rangers make the playoffs? Yes, in my opinion he does.
3. How have fans received Rick Nash thus far? Has his point per game pace been adequate or should we expect more production from this off-seasons biggest acquisition?
Fans LOVE Rick Nash. Like, really, really love him. His play has been out of this world, to the point where he's been one of the best players the Rangers have had in years. He's awesome in all three zones, is an offensive magician and does anything and everything you would want from a superstar. Honestly, I think playing in Columbus diminished his view in the NHL. He's MUCH better than advertised.
Ed. Note: We thank Joe for giving us his time in this edition of Gameday Questionnaire. Look for our next edition Saturday with our pals at Pension Plan Puppets.