We are not going to get into the nitty-gritty game recap, plain and simple the Rangers lost 6-1. A game in which they held the lead for a minute(2:54 to be exact), got outshot yet again, yet to convert on their power play and a game in which could be the downfall to this Rangers roster now. The facts are the facts, the Rangers have won THREE games during regulation over their last 20 games. Three. Things are going to change soon.
This is an embarrassing time for Ranger fans, but we have to embrace it, every team goes through these rough patches, Avalanche last season, Buffalo for the last decade 2011-2018, Islanders from 2007-20011, Penguins before Crosby, Malkin(2001-2005), Edmonton before McDavid(2006-2016), this happens and unfortunately when a team makes the playoffs for 12 out of the last 13 seasons, the downfall is bound to happen.
The most heart-wrenching thing is watching Henrik Lundqvist night in and night out, give it his all and have no one backing him up, I understand he has been yanked three times in the last five starts. Last night in the press game conference you feel Lundqvist’s emotion, disappointment, frustration and lack of words in the video.
https://twitter.com/NYRangers/status/961456215099293696/video/1 (video of Lundqvist post-game)
What’s the next move?
Following the Rangers 8th loss in 10 games, questions are starting to surface the air, trade rumors are buzzing and someone, anyone is looking for an answer. Is firing Alain Vigneault the right move? Possibly, but if a brand new head coach comes in, things won’t be better, possibly substituting Lindy Ruff in for Vigneault could work but still, the Rangers won’t miraculously win. When do the Rangers start kicking tires on Nash, Grabner, Holden, McDonagh? The rumors are out there, they will be moved, when we don’t know. Everyone hears these players names and all of sudden they want everyone out and to clean house. I am all for trading Nash, Holden, and Grabner, for picks and prospects but understand these players worths, I think we see all three if not all four moved by the end of next week.
Bye, Bye Brendan Smith!
The Rangers have already released and put Brendan Smith on waivers. I think the first goal that Boston scored was the icing on the cake for the Rangers to make this decision. Smith literally tripped over himself at the blue when attempting to keep a puck in, fell, allowed the Bruins to go 2-on-1 and you know how the rest goes. Anyways, when the Rangers brought in Smith, my first reaction was ok, a nice rental defenseman who can add some size and physicality. Well, after the playoffs, according to the “hockey experts” Smith played like one of the Rangers best defenseman. Which is why no one listens to the analytics and hockey experts too much. The guy had what 12 “good” games and all of sudden he is a defenseman worthy of $4.5 million a year? The Rangers I guess never learned from their Dan Girardi and Marc Staal signing when they considered this. Well now, they let Smith go, and thank god they did, because as much as you want to defend the man he is a 7th, maybe the sixth defenseman on any NHL roster and the Rangers paid $4.5 mil for a 7th defenseman, great.
McDonagh, Zuccarello gone?
Do we look to actually move McDonagh and Mats Zuccarello? I mean why not, if we as fans actually think the Rangers are winning anything within the next two years, then you are drunk. Both contracts are up after next season, so if you are not winning anything with them, go out and get a vital piece(s) to add to the youth of this team as well as some picks. McDonagh raises the most interest and I truly believe he walks by the deadline or offseason, Zuccarello, I have not heard much on, and as a fan favorite, I think we would all be happy to see Zucc stay, but unfortunately if the Rangers can receive a first-round pick and or second-round pick and a prospect for Zucc, you have to let the guy walk.
Is it time to panic? Most certainly not. Let’s be honest with ourselves now, was a Stanley Cup actually happening this year? No shot. Not when you still have Crosby, Malkin, and Kessel on one team, Ovechkin shoveling 30 plus home, the Devils actually learning to play hockey, Nashville do not need to add any more here, Winnipeg with their offense, Vegas with god knows what’s going on there and a slew of teams that are more competitive and better teams. So, don’t panic. Relax and enjoy the re-build, like I said before every team goes through it. It just so happens to be happening to the Rangers at the moment.