The New York Rangers have now dropped two straight games at the worst possible time of the season, and arguably the biggest reason for both of those losses is due to the absence of Ryan McDonagh, who has missed the Rangers’ last two games due to an upper body injury he suffered in Vancouver on Tuesday.
On Thursday against the Colorado Avalanche, the Rangers failed to clear their zone in the final minute of the game, which led to allowing the tying goal and an eventual Rangers’ loss in the shootout.
Now last night, with the Rangers only needing one point to clinch a playoff spot, the Rangers played a very sloppy defensive game and lost embarrassingly. They lost in a game they never even led in against an Ottawa Senators team, with nothing to play for, by a 3-2 score in regulation, denying the Rangers that one point.
You cannot tell me the Rangers do not win at least one of those games if McDonagh is healthy and in the Rangers’ starting lineup. The poor defense from the Rangers in the final minute vs. the Avalanche carried over for the entire game against the Senators last night.
The loss of McDonagh has left the Rangers exposed, and while you do not want to rush him back, the Rangers may be forced to if they want to make the playoffs this season.