AV discusses dinner plans with Ulf Samuelsson.

AV discusses dinner plans with Ulf Samuelsson.

The list of “stinkers” grew by another game last night against Pittsburgh. I for one am growing very tired of these efforts. We are 42 games into the season and the Blueshirts continue to stink up games way too often. Let’s talk about those a bit.

10/3/13 at Coyotes: Your first warning sign. Rangers started ok and tied it early in the 2nd but defensive lapses led to 3 unanswered PHX goals en route to a 4-1 loss. NY showed very little in compete level in this game.

10/8/13 at Sharks: Still the mother of all stinkers this year, NY broke down for 9 goals against! This game basically caused Biron to retire. The problems in this game still show up today. After the game Sather came down and closed the door to the dressing room!

10/10/13 at Ducks: So how do these NYR respond to giving up 9? They give up 6 more and score 0! So much for that pep talk Slats! The AV apologists (aka: Torts haters) came out in full force after this loss.

The Rangers then settled down a bit to go 11-8 in the next 19 before a bomb in Tampa.

11/25/13 at Lightning: AV called it a “no-hitter” as basically every TB player had the easiest NHL game of their lives. A 5-0 beating in one of the most heartless performances of the year.

12/2/13 vs Jets: The first home game stinker of the season. Yes, I know they’ve been bad at home but this loss was terrible. After an emotional win in Torts’ return, the Rangers followed it up with a sloppy 5-2 performance.

12/8/13 vs Caps: After a tough OT loss to NJ where Peter DeBoer shouted “8 million dollar goalie my ass”, the Blueskirts (I meant to do that) got crushed by the Caps 4-1. The battle level was so poor that the players held their own closed door meeting for 15 minutes. When AV was asked about it during his presser, he called it “just talk”.

12/10/13 vs. Predators: So how do the Rangers do following another closed door meeting? Another clueless, gaff filled lifeless fest where they lose at home again 4-1! This is the game where Torts’ daughter tweeted out “NYR and MSG … You got want you want right? Hopefully you find some identity.” Really? Losing to Nashville at home!

12/12/13 vs. Blue Jackets: After that performance and the buzz around Brittany Tortorella’s tweet the Rangers were definitely going to bounce back right? Nope, another gutless and sloppy performance at home for a 4-2 loss. Brandon Dubinsky alone showed more heart than the entire NYR lineup.

NY then settles down a bit and goes 5-2-1 in their next 8. So maybe they are rounding into form? Nope! Rangers go dark in Pittsburgh to the tune of 5-2 against a depleted Penguins lineup.

Those are 9 games, NINE LIFELESS AND INEXCUSABLE efforts! The Rangers are past the midway point of the season and in almost 20% of their games this year, the effort was embarrassing.

Stop reading if you’ve heard these player quotes before:

“The first period wasn’t very good,” *

“They just jumped all over our mistakes,” *

“We have to stop making it hard on ourselves,”*

“There’s 110-percent urgency to clean this up.”*

“You can’t play that way”*

“It was just too easy for them to create chances” *

“I’m just disappointed. That’s my feeling. Not surprised”*

“We didn’t play as well defensively as we needed to” *

These quotes are from Staal, Nash, Stepan Lundqvist and Stralman just last night. However, we’ve been hearing that after almost every lousy loss. Brad Richards was recently quoted as saying it’s too comfortable in the room. Maybe the guy in charge has a finger on it, so let’s see what AV said last night:

“I thought our guys battled hard. We tried to come back. We tried to generate some offense. We did spend, I felt, a lot of time in the second and third in their end and any time you give a team like this that’s so structured the lead that we gave up, that makes it real hard.”*

I have no response to that. None, zero, nada! Is AV that “cool” and “calm” after that stinker in game 42? They say a team takes on the demeanor of their coach, if that’s the case then you can expect another 8-9 more stinkers this year.

The Rangers have many issues starting with a lousy GM to poor play from Nash and Lundqvist. They lack a legit number one center and a PP QB with a booming shot. However, what is killing the Rangers more than anything is a lack of self. Who are they? What kind of team are they? These guys have nothing to fall back on when the going gets tough and the head coach hasn’t done much to change that.

*Quotes taken from NY Post, NYDN and RangerRantsBlog


Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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