rangers capitals adam fox

Capital Punishment indeed. Call it a holiday hangover, call it galaxy braining, call it a badly officiated game with three missed tripping calls, the Rangers did nothing to deserve a victory last night at MSG. Both goaltenders saw six high danger chances, but it was Darcy Kuemper who stopped all of them in his 32 save shutout and the Rangers lost 4-0. The Rangers came out of the break flat after such a good run heading into Christmas, and laid the proverbial egg.

Gerard Gallant and his impatience with his forward lines reared its ugly head again, juggling the lines halfway through this one. He finally had the perfect top six/bottom six combination, and retreated back to putting Barclay Goodrow on the top line along with Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad. So he not only shot himself in the foot on with getting offense, but he also probably disrupted any confidence Vitali Kravtsov had going into the night.

Why are we doing this thing where he has to be the player who gets the promotion to stabilize the team? At the time of the promotion, the Rangers were down 3-0. How does that solve your offensive woes? These kind of decisions will always be baffling.

The Rangers were bad in this one through and through. That doesn’t change, but it is time the NHL gave a serious look at their officiating. We know the job is thankless, and rarely do people side with the officials on the ice. That said, this was an awful game for both sides by the stripes. You really are pulling your hair out at times wondering what game they are watching as they are standing right in front of infractions and not calling them.

Matt Irwin slew footed Julien Gauthier right at the net mouth when the puck was coming to him, no call. Gauthier also had a breakaway, tripped up, no call. Remind me again how refereeing doesn’t influence the outcome of the game? The NHL wants to be taken seriously, and their officiating would be a great place to start because the inconsistency night in and night out is absolutely insane. It’s a tough and thankless job, but it’s clear there is room for improvement.

As for the Rangers, they now have a trip to Florida coming up to face the Lightning and the Panthers. Avoiding losing streaks is key. They won seven in a row, but have lost 2 of 3 now. Given their precarious playoff situation, losing streaks aren’t an option. This year’s NHL season is not like last year where the playoff spots were all but officially clinched in December/January. Neither Tampa nor Florida are as strong as last year, so it’s a good spot to start another winning streak.

Burn the tape, and come out fighting in Tampa Thursday.

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