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Rangers are already battling the mental game in rebuilding year

Rangers are already battling the mental game in rebuilding year
Published On: Tue, Oct 09
Feb 26, 2015; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash (61) controls the puck in front of Arizona Coyotes center Antoine Vermette (50) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

After opening their season with a third straight loss Sunday night, the Rangers flew back to New York for an off day Monday and a pair of practices before their next chance for their first win Thursday.

Rookie coach David Quinn will go back to the drawing board, surely trying to solidify the defensive structure that got too loose in Sundaya€™s 8-5 loss to the Hurricanes.

But perhaps just as importantly, he will also be watching for the mood in his room.

a€œI think you always do as a coach. You want to have the pulse of your team,a€ Quinn said. a€œYou can see body language and frustration set in when you have the chances we had and the zone time we had [Saturday in a 3-1 loss to Buffalo] and not get rewarded for it. You gotta make sure you manage that. Thata€™s part of being a professional athlete, managing your emotions. Thata€™s a challenge. I think ita€™s the hardest challenge for any athlete in any sport.a€

Expectations were not high for the Rangers (0-3-0) entering the season, but after spending the preseason working on a new system under Quinn, they have yet to see the fruits of their labor beyond flashes.

The frustration grew Sunday, when the goal-starved group finally broke open offensively, only to have the defense, which had played solidly through two games, bring about the demise.

a€œAs good as we were offensively, we were that bad defensively,a€ Quinn said.

Until the Rangers get back on the ice Thursday at the Garden, where another stiff test awaits against the Sharks, therea€™s only one sensible way to move forward, according to one of the teama€™s emerging leaders.

Read the complete news article here...

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