Yes, it was a terrible call. Yes, it looked like a distinct kicking motion. However, this still doesn’t excuse the Rangers for blowing a two-goal lead and needing a very late Chris Kreider power-play goal just to force overtime. The Rangers eventually fell to the Devils 4-3, and failed miserably to establish the consistency they need.
We’ll never know if the Janssen goal affected the Rangers’ mental play for the remainder of the game. The players and coaches obviously were unhappy with the call, but it is still not an excuse to not show a killer instinct. It appeared they were finally going to beat their arch-rival for the first time this season, but alas, the Rangers are fortunate to come away with one point in the standings.
It is also not an excuse for Rangers captain Ryan Callahan to take an unnecessary high-sticking penalty in overtime, leading to Eric Gelinas‘ game-winning goal. He needs to be held accountable for the Rangers’ lack of passion in some instances of the game and for undisciplined play.
As the captain, he needs to play better and motivate his troops. He is not the only reason the Rangers lost, though. They lost because they couldn’t properly respond to the Janssen goal by putting up a goal of their own in the second period. They also lost because of multiple breakdowns in defensive coverage in the third period. The bottom line is, the Rangers should have put the Devils away and they didn’t.
The one positive of this game is that the Rangers fought back to force overtime. But, these up-and-down performances are not going to cut it. It’s time for some kind of change, whether it is in attitude or personnel. Games like Saturday night’s are a perfect example why.