Most of you who read this blog regularly know that we are generally optimistic here at BSB. It’s easy to complain all the time, and complaining gets webpage hits. That’s not what we are about here. We generally try to find the silver lining with the Rangers, and prior to this year they have been few and far between. But last night’s performance, when combined with poor performances in Buffalo and Ottawa, was an absolute disgrace. There is no silver lining after watching the Rangers act like they would rather play golf in April than be in the playoffs.
News flash to the Rangers, it’s April, and it’s 30 degrees. You won’t be playing golf even if you miss the playoffs. After last night’s putrid performance, Carolina is just three points back with a game in hand. That’s not the same comfortable lead you worked so hard to build up when you went 8-1-1 prior to the losses against Buffalo and the Islanders. Where was the urgency from the Rangers?
Let me re-phrase that question: Where was the urgency from the Rangers not named Henrik Lundqvist?
The effort on offense wouldn’t have bothered me so much last night if they played in front of Hank. He has been their rock in net for six years, and has been the only reason why the Rangers have made the playoffs for half of those years. If they didn’t want to play for the playoffs, at least play for Lundqvist.
They were beat to loose pucks, they missed assignments, they left people open in front of the net, they have been letting people run their goalie with no consequence, they just don’t appear to care. These are the most important games of the year, and the Rangers look to be sleepwalking through them. They have four games remaining, and all four are winnable games. Get it in gear Rangers, or suffer the wrath of New Yorkers who will compare you to the New York Mets.
But since we are the eternal optimists here, let’s end this rant on a high note. There are plenty of things to be excited for in the future. The Rangers this year have shown that they have great depth at scoring, and the high end talent to compliment this depth is hopefully en route (Chris Kreider, Christian Thomas). The Rangers defense is one of the best in the game, and the youngest in the game, and this is with Steve Eminger and Matt Gilroy splitting decent minutes as a third pair. They have an All-World goaltender. Most of the pieces for a Cup run are in place, but there are a few missing pieces here and there. The plan is working.