Rangers Lose Again; 1-6-2 Over 9 Game Stretch
The Rangers lost 2-1 Monday night while visiting the St. Louis Blues. The loss extends the Rangers’ current skid to a 1-6-2 record over the last nine games.
When few things are going right for a club, they have to hang on to the fact that they didn’t lose badly, as they did the day before against the rival Flyers on home ice. In that game, goalie Henrik Lundqvist, usually the strong link of the team, was pulled from the net after giving up four goals in 14 shots.
Lundqvist raised his performance Monday night, stopping 31 shots and keeping the game close in the third period as the Blues had several solid scoring opportunities. The Rangers did not play very well, being outshot 33-20, including 14-4 in the final period which began with the two teams tied at one. While the Blues do have a winning record at home, they are a last place club in the Western Conference’s Central division.
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And a last place club is what the Rangers could end up being if the current streak continues. The team is currently tied for the 5 th spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture with the equally moribund Montreal Canadiens, however, they are only 2 points ahead of the 8 th place team.
Not losing badly cannot be the goal for any team, particularly a team that started the season as strongly as the Rangers did. Coach Tom Renney is officially on the hot seat. Whether or not he is to blame for the club’s failures, he could end up being replaced in an effort to shake things up and try to make some headway prior to the end of the season.
While it’s easy to blame the coach of a struggling team, the Rangers seem to have misplaced and inadequate personnel in several positions. They do not have many physical scoring threats on the front line but they also aren’t a particularly speedy team. Their power play has been terrible as they miss nearly all of the major components of last year’s group – Jaromir Jagr, Brendan Shanahan and Martin Straka. Their defensive players also seem incapable of moving the puck quickly up the ice and breaking a team’s pressure.
The result is a lack of consistent offense that has been the main problem over the last nine games, where the club has been shut out twice and held to one goal three times.
By: Jake Emen
ProHockey-fans.com Staff Writer
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