For a team that struggled to find the back of the net all of last season and was ultimately bounced in the first round of the playoffs for the same problem, the Rangers have balanced their incredible goaltending and solid defense with a dangerous offense. And all it took was a pair of free-agent signings.
The two leading scorers on the Blueshirts right now are Marian Gaborik and Vinny Prospal — neither of whom were Rangers last season. And Glen Sather's decision to target some of the bigger name free agents in the offseason has paid dividends early this year, as the Penguins currently look like the only team able to keep pace in the Atlantic.
Gaborik, arguably the top free agent on the market, has started his New York career with points in every game so far this season. His six goals in seven games have him tied for first in the league with the Flyers' Mike Richards, and his 10 points have him tied for second. No one can argue with the 27-year-old right wing's scoring ability when he is healthy, and now that he is, he appears to be the offensive threat the Rangers have lacked since Jaromir Jagr left for the KHL.
Aside from the season-opening loss to the Penguins, Prospal has recorded at least one point in every Rangers game. Prospal, who didn't join the Rangers until August, is tied with Gaborik at 10 points, and he is tied for third in the league with already seven assists. With a one-year deal and a chance to once again play under coach John Tortorella, Prospal has regained his scoring knack that he displayed during his best years with the Lightning.
A six-game winning streak and 12 points out of a possible 14 in the standings have the Rangers flying high early on. And if Gaborik and Prospal continue producing at this rate, there might be no stopping the Rangers in the East.