You can forget about any chance of the New York Rangers establishing any consistency in their play. They have already messed up the most important stretch of their schedule, and have little chance to finish the Holiday shopping season with any more than 12 points. Right now, the team is playing passionless, flat and gutless hockey.
If this attitude doesn’t change soon, you can forget about the Rangers making the playoffs, let alone making a deep run.
Sunday night’s game against the Washington Capitals magnified this malaise. Even if you are the most optimistic of Ranger fans, you cannot possibly take any positives out of their 4-1 loss. It was their worst loss of the season. They lost every physical battle, failed to generate any traffic in front of third-string goaltender Phillip Grubauer, and simply looked defeated following a questionable penalty shot call that led to the third goal of the game by Mikhail Grabovski.
In the third period, the Rangers failed to generate a shot on goal until nine minutes in. That’s right, nine minutes.
A major change cannot wait. If this is the way the Rangers will compete going forward, it is impossible to believe that things will get better. Whether it is by trade, waiving underachievers such as Benoit Pouliot and Taylor Pyatt or bringing up a prospect, it needs to happen this week.
Following this no-show performance against the Capitals one night after a brutal loss to the arch-rival New Jersey Devils, is it fair to say these players can’t be trusted to give 100 percent every single night?
The Rangers’ next three games are bottom-feeders: the Nashville Predators, Columbus Blue Jackets and Calgary Flames. If the Rangers can’t beat these teams at home, you may start reaching for the panic button. The question is, how much do the Rangers want it? We’ll find out in the coming week.