With the Philadelphia Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets winning games and leap frogging the New York Rangers, it was up to the Rangers to respond late this afternoon in home game vs. the San Jose Sharks.
For most of the game the Rangers were the better team but the only thing that matters is the scoreboard, and once again the Rangers were the team with the lower number. That is of course a bad thing since this is hockey and not golf.
So yes, the Rangers lost. But what was even worse than just the loss, and what took frustration to a whole new high, was that the final score was 1-0 for the Sharks in regulation, so the Rangers got zero points out of the game and were shutout, in what was as close to a must win-game as you can find. And not only that but the Rangers got a total of 41 shots on goal but the up-and-down Sharks’ goaltender Antti Niemi was of course up when playing the Rangers and stopped every shot the Rangers threw at him.
With only 13 games left in the regular season, a loss like this for a Rangers’ team desperately needing a win and two points, is simply beyond frustrating. Maybe there is something to the fact that the Rangers make every goaltender look like the second coming of Patrick Roy. Maybe it is that the Rangers are just not good enough.
The Rangers are falling in the standings at the worst time of the season for a reason. For starters, the Rangers lack a first line center, because Derek Stepan is not even close to being that. They lack scoring since Rick Nash and now Martin St. Louis are doing none of that. They lack an offensive minded and dynamic defenseman like an Erik Karlsson or Mike Green type of player. Most of all, they don’t have the heart and the will to win.
Yes, I know former captain Ryan Callahan, who was traded at the trade deadline, had the will to win but he forced GM Glen Sather‘s hand by asking for way too much money and thus resulted in him being dealt. Plus to win in the NHL you need a whole team of players with heart and the will to win, not just one guy.
If anything, losing Callahan has now showed us that the Rangers have way more flaws than originally met the eyes. This mediocrity and average roster of players that this franchise’s front office have lazily put together over the years (especially this season) have somehow brainwashed so many good Rangers’ fans into thinking that this is a contending team that will go deep in the playoffs this season.
This above all else is the most frustrating thing in being a Rangers’ fan because not only is this Rangers’ team not going anywhere, but I highly doubt they even make the playoffs this season, never mind a deep playoff run.