Rangerstown Has Spoken: Garden InsightThe Sports Daily
The Rangers performance against the Toronto Maple Leafs has been one of the biggest eye openers for Rangerstown as of late. It is evident more than ever that the Rangers need adjustments to take place as soon as possible. The team’s inability to remain consistent on the ice has caused on outrage within their fan base and may even cost them an appearance during the postseason if they continue down this road.
Last Night’s Events
After the NHL All-Star break, many Rangers fans rallied up for the game against the Leafs with excitement and hoped for a great outcome. The Blueshirts were ready for their first home game back from the break and took their time warming up in preparation for the night. As soon as the game had started, Rick Nash was sent to the penalty box within the first minute of play. This is where I believe the game’s momentum shifted, and it was way too early for this to happen. The Blueshirts were attempting to make advancements to the net but neglected to handle the puck. Once the Leafs scored two goals in the first, it was evident the energy on the ice died down almost instantaneously.
As the second period started, the activity on the ice seemed to be misplaced. There was a lack of communication being instilled on the ice, resulting in many uncoordinated passes. You know there is something off when the puck is on the stick and lost within a stride’s reach. Given that the crowd was feeding on the game’s energy, the momentum died down in the seats as Rangers fans held hope for a comeback. The Garden was daunting and silenced once the Leafs scored another two goals on Henrik Lundqvist. Rows of fans were exiting the building as many others were fighting amongst themselves about the performance seen on the ice. The fans who remained in the Garden buzzed about trade talk, rants against AV and needing more alcohol to lessen the sting of the game.
The Garden continued to pour with anger and frustration for the remainder of the game. Fans were booing, replacing the “Potvin Sucks” to “Rangers Suck” chant to voice their frustration with the team and making it known they are not onboard with AV’s coaching abilities with “Fire Vigneault” chants. Fans are calling out for change and are being as vocal as ever. As a die-hard fan, I could have never imagined the chants I heard throughout the night at a Rangers home game; I would have expected them to occur in the building of our rivals. The overall atmosphere was chilling almost as if in a deserted building with the Rangers falling to the Leafs and fans throwing in the towel.
Mid-Season Breaks Have a Play
Given the Rangers performance, there is much speculation on the one-week breaks within the Rangers schedule and its impact on their game. Several players have taken the leisure to go on vacation which appears that they have overdone it within the two one-week breaks in January. The time off is showing in the players’ performance and it is definitely not “good looks”. There is a huge lack of determination and energy on the part the Rangers, with their game becoming sloppy and dysfunctional among its lines. There needs to be consistency within the team’s overall performance along with their scheduling. The Rangers were more consistent in their performance in previous seasons when only having the All-Star break to dive into the indulgences. Too much time off the ice has clearly reflected on the team and it’s time for them to wake up.
Wake Up Call Initiated
There is a major need for adjustments among the active roster and direction from the coaching staff. It is essential for the players to see eye-to-eye with their coaching staff in order to possibly make a postseason appearance this year. If the Rangers want to push through the remainder of the season with the goal of making the playoffs, the miscommunication and drive need to be fixed. The Rangers will need to dedicate every waking moment left in this season to fix the loose ends they have ignored over the past couple of weeks.
Motivation is a key factor the Rangers lack and something needs to set fire to the hunger flame. The Rangers are more than capable of making a turnaround now that the games hold more weight with the playoffs rapidly approaching. The events of last night should be enough of a push for the Rangers to get their game right before competing on Saturday against the Nashville Predators. This upcoming game is an opportunity for the Rangers to boost their momentum and showcase their talent on the ice against the team that made it to the Stanley Cup Finals last year. I look forward to seeing a different team on the ice who is ready for a fight to obtain those two points.