The Rangers had one of their worst outings in the last two years last night. They not only lost 6-1, but it looked to be the final nail in the coffin in the Rangers playoff hopes this season. It was already a longshot, but the timing of the loss couldn’t have been worse. It was to the Islanders, which put them out of reach. The Bruins won as well, which gives them a six point lead with two games in hand.
Mathematically speaking, the Rangers are still in it. But realistically speaking they aren’t. When the Rangers needed their big guys to step up, they were sloppy. The Rangers needed their veterans to lead the team. Instead they were the major culprits in the defensive lapses.
There is a lot of blame to go around, and everyone’s favorite whipping boys will get the blame. There’s no one person who deserves the blame for last night. They laid an egg. And they did so at the worst possible time.
But that’s what happens in a rebuild. This was never the year for the Rangers to make a run. It was great for them to be relevant 75% into the season. That was not only unexpected, but a joy to watch. The four games against the Devils were a taste of what is to come. This team is for real.
This year wasn’t the year for the Rangers. Next year will be the first year of true contention. The Rangers have so much going for them. The Rangers playoff hopes may have been crushed last night, but the best is yet to come.