The first game of the new year for the New York Rangers came last night in Pittsburgh against the Metropolitan Division leading Pittsburgh Penguins. We all know by now the Penguins are an elite team while the Rangers are just not; the standings speak for themselves. But since the Rangers won four out of five games going into last night, fans hoped to see a great game and, win or lose, finally some consistency out of the Rangers.
Well we were wrong again.
Not only did the Rangers play poorly against the Penguins, but this game was even reminiscent of the Rangers’ stretch of road games early in the season when they were getting obliterated.
Right from the get-go you could just tell the Penguins were the faster and sharper team. They were getting all of the high-quality scoring chances, and unlike the Rangers on most nights they converted them into goals — four of them to be exact before the Rangers decided to wake up.
Yes, it was not until the third period when the Rangers were down 4-0 that they finally woke up and netted two unanswered goals to cut the lead in half. However, the high from those two goals would not last long, and the Penguins finished off the Rangers by the final of 5-2.
But let’s throw the final score out for a second. What I found really outrageous was the fact that in a divisional game, fighting for a playoff spot, the Rangers would once again come out and play uninspired hockey.
Talk about an already failed New Year’s Resolution.
Not only that, but once again this team let the opposition push them around without any push back. Penguins were crashing the net left and right, knocking over Lundqvist, and even cheap shotting some of the Rangers’ skaters at the end of the game, yet no teammate came to their aid or fought back themselves.
Maybe I should just not be surprised anymore. Every time people think the Rangers are finally turning the corner they come out and play like this. I cannot help but shake my head in disgust at the embarrassing season the Rangers are putting the fans through. Drastic changes in player personnel or even coaching need to be made fast, because if you think these Rangers are a playoff team you will be greatly disappointed come mid-April.