The New York Rangers haven fallen apart
This was absolutely supposed to be a rebuilding year. The New York Rangers have a first time NHL head coach, an aging goaltender who is well past his prime, and a lack of depth scoring across the board. However, no one foresaw that the Rangers would become so lowly in such a short period of time.
For the first quarter of the season, the Rangers hung around in the playoff race. No one actually thought they would make the playoffs, but Henrik Lundqvist stood on his head for most of those wins, Kevin Hayes stepped up as the goal scorer the Rangers needed, and the young but mistake ridden defense held up for the most part.
The wheels all came off over the past three games. The Rangers have been outscored 18-3 in the last three games. Henrik Lundqvist was pulled twice, Alex Georgiev did not fare much better. They lost 7-2 to the Pittsburgh Penguins, 6-1 to the Colorado Avalanche, and their latest stinker was a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of the Arizona Coyotes.
So what’s actually wrong with the Rangers? Well, they just ran out of good starts by Henrik Lundqvist. If you’ve watched the Rangers all season, Hank has quite literally put the team on his back despite all their shortcomings. He’s kept them in games they had no business being in. He is the sole reason they aren’t the worst team in the league. Then he got tired, had a couple of bad starts, and here the Rangers sit nine points out of a playoff spot.
Is the season over? Not yet, but considering the Rangers have only scored 114 goals and don’t get much productions from their bottom six, and it’s a tough hill to climb. The Eastern Conference cellar isn’t all that talented, but it’s going to be very tough to get through Buffalo, the Islanders, and Motreal on the way to a playoff berth.
Look, this is all part of the plan but the Rangers have put forth very little effort lately. They still need to be a competitive team or they’ll become a laughing stock. Rangers fans understand that this is part of the process, but they still have a ton of pride in their team and need them to just compete harder.
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