The New York Rangers were riding high going into their matchup against the Pittsburgh Penguins. They had won four of their last five games. Henrik Lundqvist was beginning to find his game and the cherry on top was that captain Ryan Callahan was returning to the lineup. Any good feelings the Rangers had were absolutely demolished by the beat-down the Penguins put on them.
The Rangers dominated in every facet of the hockey game. Seriously, go ahead and think of an area of hockey — the Rangers were beat in it. They committed more turnovers, were absolutely dominated physically, couldn’t establish a forecheck and looked lost at times in their own zone. The most embarrassing part of the game was when Deryk Engelland absolutely demolished John Moore after Moore attempted to hit Engelleand. To make matters worse, 5-foot-11 Callahan was the only one to get in the face of Engelland. That play summarizes the absolute lack of toughness the Rangers have.
The Rangers’ big-time players were invisible once again as well. If it wasn’t for the announcers, you wouldn’t even noticed that Rick Nash was playing. A lot of people thought that the Derek Stepan would start to play better after making the United States Olympic team but he struggled again.
It was an all around hideous game for the Rangers and once again brings up questions about this makeup of this team. There have been a lot of rumors about players that might be traded. Maybe this horrible loss will open Glen Sather’s old eyes to the fact that the Rangers are not a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.
The 5-2 final did not reflect the real story of this game. The Rangers got dominated by a better team. But there is no excuse for the lack of effort or pushback that they showed tonight.