By Brian Monzo
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Last week we talked about how tough these four games were going to be against the Flyers, Capitals, Bruins and Blackhawks.
2-2-0 would have been alright. 3-1-0 would have been awesome and 4-0-0 was probably unrealistic. As frustrating as it was to watch the Rangers lose to the Blackhawks last night, it’s tough to be disappointed 3-1-0.
However, before you could even blink last night, the scoreboard read 3-0 Blackhawks. Therefore a few observations have to be made.
A few thoughts about what went wrong last night:
-Unusual defensive breakdowns. Say what you want about the penalty shot call against the Rangers, having a scrum like that in front of the net is something that can be avoided by getting the puck to the outside. It’s rare the Rangers give up odd man rushes, especially more than once in a game, but that was case and it cost them.
-When called upon early, Marty Biron was unable to make the big save. It’s hard to really fault Biron here. He has been very good this season, but he could have made a save or two to keep the Rangers in it early. None of the goals were his fault, but he could have been a difference maker, and he wasn’t.
-Very rarely would I disagree with John Tortorella, especially this season. However, I really have to question rolling four lines in the third period. There needs to come a point when a team is down three goals that players like Mike Rupp, Stu Bickel and John Mitchell are not getting shifts and your three main lines get all the ice time. I understand you want to keep legs fresh, but the best players need to see more time in desperate situations.
- 0 for 7 on the power play. That’s all I am going to say. Read on for a possible fixer.
Moving forward the Rangers will host the worst team in the league, the Columbus Blue Jackets, Sunday night at the Garden.
If the Rangers are the team that we all believe they are, and can be, they will be looking to claim some vengeance on the loss from last night. It’s no secret that this group of players hates the lose games. I can imagine that they will be hungry when Rick Nash and company come to play.
Speaking of Rick Nash….
The rumors continue to swirl about Nash and his likely departure from Columbus before the February 27 trade deadline. It was reported yesterday that Nash has given the Blue Jackets a list of six teams that he would accept a trade to, with the Rangers being one of them.
I said it before, and I will say it again — if the Rangers have the chance to bring in Nash, and the deal proposed to them (or vice-versa) is a no brainer, then it’s something they will have to do. It’s no secret the Rangers power play is dreadful, and Nash would be immediate relief to that situation. Nash is a big body and can play in his own end as well.
The Blue Jackets did have a scout at the game last night (as well as other games around the league). Within a few days, they should have a general idea of what pieces they would be looking to add.
I understand the theory of not messing with team chemistry, but as we all remember, that team in ’94 made some late moves. If they had not made them, that 54-year drought may have continued until today.
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