On Thursday, the New York Rangers and their fans received great news with the re-signing of Derek Stepan, but that was followed up with game that left fans shaking their heads.
The Rangers faced off against the Vancouver Canucks, the preseason game of all preseason games given the offseason history these two teams had with the virtual swapping of their head coaches. Most fans could not wait to see what Alain Vigneault‘s Rangers and John Tortorella‘s Canucks would do. Well, unfortunately for Rangers fans, the Canucks were the only team that decided to show up.
The Canucks absolutely demolished the Rangers by a 5-0 score. Yes, it is just the preseason and scores do not matter, but so many things really irked me about this game.
The Rangers lacked discipline the entire game and took way too many penalties, their overall passion and toughness was disgustingly low, and they were extremely soft as a result. Their offense was once again impotent, and their defense gave up way too many odd man rushes.
Probably what infuriated me the most was the fact that the Canucks scored two power play goals, something that everyone thought was impossible on a Tortorella and Mike Sullivan-coached team. One of the reasons why the Rangers brought in Vigneault was to help with the power play and wouldn’t you know it, the Rangers had no power play goals and allowed more than a few short-handed odd-man rushes on their power play opportunities.
So maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t the coaches after all, but in fact the players. The players on the Rangers simply just do not have the ability to score goals and play consistent offensive and defensive hockey, no matter who in the hockey world is their coach.
The only thing I am banking on this season is that this is all just the preseason and the Rangers wanted to get all of their losing over with. Other than that, this team has showed nothing to warrant anything positive for this upcoming season.
I guarantee that nothing has changed with this Rangers team, and we will see another typical season of either struggling to make the playoffs and getting eliminated in the early rounds, or falling short and not making the postseason at all.
Hopefully this is not the case, but the Rangers have to show the fans a lot more before actually thinking the Stanley Cup is a realistic goal this year.
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