Rangers Notebook: Struggling to score, but adding Asham

The return of Aaron Asham should help the Rangers out. Credit: Getty Images
The upcoming return of Arron Asham should help the Rangers out.
Credit: Getty Images

The addition of Rick Nash to a team that finished the 2011-12 regular season with the most points in the Eastern Conference was supposed to bolster an offensive attack and help the Rangers reach their first Stanley Cup final since June 1994.

Instead, a season-long inability to score goals had the Rangers in 10th place in the conference entering last night’s home game against the Hurricanes and suffering from a crisis of confidence.

“Our team saw every good offensive play they could see today,” head coach John Tortorella told reporters in his pregame press conference. The 63 goals the Rangers have scored this season are second fewest in the NHL, ahead of only Columbus and San Jose (both of whom have scored 60 goals this season).

“It’s trying to get some sort of confidence in themselves.”

Equally concerning is that there is not much time to salvage the season. They trail the No. 8 seed Hurricanes by three points and are a point behind the No. 9 seed Islanders, and have just 21 games left.

“We are what we are right now,” Brian Boyle told reporters following the morning skate at the team training facility in Greenburgh, N.Y. “We expect more of ourselves. [I] still think we should be confident in ourselves.”

Adding Asham

The Rangers’ two-steps-forward-and-one-step-back season has led to speculation that the organization may look to make personnel changes, most notably the persistent rumors that right wing Marian Gaborik is on the trade block.

However the team is soon to receive an addition, and it will not cost them a player off the roster.

Arron Asham skated Monday morning and told reporters afterward he felt “pretty good.”

“It felt better today than it did [last week] in Winnipeg when I skated. If everything goes [well] it’s just a matter of getting into game shape. Once I’m ready for that, I’ll be ready to come back.”

Brought in to replace Brandon Prust, Asham has only played in 12 games this season. He has one goal and 17 penalty minutes due to lingering back spasms. Asham said this is the first time in his 14-year NHL career he has had a back injury.

The Rangers are 4-7-1 without Asham.

“Just making strides to get better and better, and get back. I can still feel it [but it’s] nothing that I can’t play through,” Asham said. “It hasn’t been fun sitting in the stands watching the team go through up and downs. I want to be in there and do my part. [I’ve] just got to concentrate on my game and be a good cheerleader in the stands and hopefully work my way back into the lineup soon.

“Right now I feel the back could hold up during a game. It’s just a matter of getting into game shape.”

Follow Rangers beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Local

Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…

Movies

Kevin Smith makes peace with the Internet

I was thinking about Ain't It Cool News and Harry Knowles last night, wondering if anyone from Ain't It Cool had reviewed my new movie…

Movies

Art imitates life in 'Swim Little Fish Swim'

There's a certain comfort to be taken in finding that young artists are still moving to New York and trying to make it — and…

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

NFL

Oday Aboushi ready for increased role, and to…

Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field.

NFL

Giants vs. Texans: 3 things to watch

The Giants host the surprising Texans (2-0) in what may already be a must-win game for Big Blue.

NFL

Eric Decker misses practice again, could miss Monday

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker missed practice Thursday as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.

MLB

Derek Jeter still focused on baseball as final…

Derek Jeter has effectively hid his emotions for 20 years in the Bronx.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…