Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Rangers: Sucking My Soul Through A Bendy Straw

Perhaps that characterization is a bit too harsh, but not by much. The NY Rangers fell to the Ottawa Senators tonight 3-2 in a game that was 2-0 Rangers at the end of the first period. Nylander scored both Ranger goals, and the first period was a joy to watch. After a rough start, the team was playing well together, and there was a lot of energy to the Rangers' playing. After the first intermission, I could sense the change. The Rangers looked tired and sluggish. Although the official Rangers site blamed the injury of defense man Karl Rachunek's knee for the exhaustion (as there were only five defenders and not six), I still believe that there are problems with the defensive lines. The Rangers looked like they stopped playing together as a team. Their offense was incapable, yet again, of taking advantage of power plays and other scoring opportunities.

Not surprisingly, the Senators, with the third best record in the East, took advantage of the situation. They scored three times: twice in the second period and the game winner in the third. The Rangers blew a 2-0 lead for the sixth time this season and failed to score yet again on the power play. They have now lost 21 games by one goal.

The mood in the Garden grew grimmer as the crowd sensed the Rangers inability to score a goal. During the final Rangers power play, screams of "shoot the puck!" were emanating from the Garden, as everyone watched the Rangers play "pass the puck" yet again. This chant evolved into "Fire Renney," the first time I have heard this call for the head of the coach. If the Rangers can't recover against Atlanta and Boston this weekend, I can't see how they can make it to the playoffs this year.

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