New York Hockey Fans: What Happened Your Rangers?

15 Comments

new_york_rangers_wallpaper_5NEW YORK, NY – There’s something wrong with my New York Rangers. Sure, they’re winning games and in good position to make a deep playoff push. But there’s something amiss. This isn’t the Rangers team of my youth. I’ll always support the team no matter what but this isn’t the Rangers team I grew to love.

Rangers teams of the past have always struck a balance with a mix of top talent and tough S.O.B’s. – the current crop of Blueshirts has ditched the toughness in favor of more razzle and dazzle in the offensive zone. Alain Vigneault has wiped out the fighting, the checking, the blocked shots and defense in general. He’s put the emphasis on offense and has had some success so far, but I don’t get the warm -n- fuzzies from this Rangers team.

PoutinePepsiThey aren’t playing like Rangers.

It started when Tortorella was fired. I love tough hockey but the Tortorella mold wasn’t sustainable. There were always going to be too many injuries sticking with Torts and his emphasis on blocking every shot. But instead of toning the tough style back a bit but keeping the same identity, the Rangers’ brass decided to go in the complete opposite direction… I was hoping that Lindy Ruff would become the new manager, but the Blueshirts decided to go with Alain Vigneault and his poutine & Pepsi style of hockey.  The fighting, blocked shots and fore-checking vanished seemingly overnight.

vigneault-alain-fired_940Any edge the Rangers played with left for Vancouver with Tortorella.

Watching this team now is frustrating. I’m not one of the guys that thinks that a hockey game with no fights isn’t worth watching, but give me one every five games. Or at least every ten games. And would it kill the Rangers to finish a check or two? Along with physicality, team defense has dropped in importance also. Now that the Rangers traded Ryan Callahan to Tampa, there isn’t a forward on the top three lines that doesn’t completely shirk defensive responsibilities. We just have a bunch of Frenchies who would rather dance with the puck than back check. I just can’t see a team this soft winning a championship. Not in this league. Someone tell Alain Vigneault that this isn’t the KHL. Physicality is a part of the game in North America.

They are now a team that is set up solely to score. It’s great for the neutral fan and the fan that just wants to see the red light go on and the scoreboard ticking over. But when it goes wrong and the goal well runs dry, you get games like the the two last week against Carolina and Minnesota. Those were two of the worst hockey games I’ve ever seen the Rangers play. Sunday’s game against the Sharks wasn’t much better.

New York Rangers v Carolina Hurricanes

The Rangers scored 8 in Ottawa on Tuesday but they didn’t actually play very well. And they gave up four goals, which just can’t happen if you want to win a playoff series. Tonight the Rangers play the proverbial playoff four-pointer in Columbus and Saturday they hit the Rock for a grudge match against the Devils. The Blueshirts have twelve games left and they’ll need to win the majority of them to get a good seed going into the playoffs.

Hopefully they gain some toughness in those twelve games or it may be an early exit from hockey’s second season for the Rangers.

Tune in tomorrow for our tough guy/goon extraordinariness, Junoir Blaber.

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About the Author ()

Different Matt is our cunning Cornell grad/rugby player. "Diff" joined us just after the switch from being "Mets only" to an all-sports stop. He's a Yankee fan; thus he was "different." Aside from the Yanks, he's a diehard NY Giants, NY Rangers and NY Knicks fan. He also likes long walks on the beach and cappuccinos and nearly died in Las Vegas.
  • Big Blue 56

    Other then the 8 in Ottowa they haven’t been scoring. That’s what worries me.

    • Different Matt

      They’re a team that’s set up for offense. But when the goals don’t come, there’s no Plan B.

      • http://meetthematts.com/ Meet The Matts

        They have as much offensive production as the Mets do at short and first. #DejaVuMets

      • Cheesybruin

        If Plan B fails the Rangers can always opt for an abortion.

  • GrindingAxWalter

    When Arthur Torts Fonzarelli left town for Vancouver, the D left as well. How many blocked shots do we see this season? Sather trades the heart of the team for Pepe le Pew and we know how that smells.

    • Different Matt

      The Rangers are playing like a team without a captain right now.

      Hopefully St Louis finds his scoring shoes soon. He’s been bordering on useless since he came to New York.

      • GrindingAxWalter

        The problem with St. Louis is that he will be 39 in June. Long seasons take a toll on middle age players. He is reacting the same way a grandfather would if you move him from a home of fifty years into a nursing home! He has lost his appetite for the goal!
        Bon dieu!

        • http://meetthematts.com/ Meet The Matts

          He needs to be on a line with some size and toughness. Where is Adam Graves when you need him?

          • GrindingAxWalter

            At the orthodontist .

  • jgclancy

    Mediocre coaching with mediocre talent gets mediocre results.Always. Rangers will be lucky to get through a first round of playoffs.
    My SDSU Aztecs won last night…almost blew it late but held on in OT….of course, they didn’t cover the damned spread Grrrrr
    If they win tomorrow they get/ earn a few waffle tacos!

  • buffalobilly84

    Boo hoo! Your team is going to the playoffs. Stop whining! hehe

  • FakeSandyAlderson

    As predicted by BracketMatt in his column 3 days ago…Mercer is about to defeat Duke.

    • jgclancy

      And there was much rejoicing!

  • jgclancy

    Jets just sold their soul! I always allowed a small place in me to root for the Jets….they signed the dog killer and that is no more….my condolences to vinny in brooklyn who, I believe, is a Jets fan

  • Junoir Blaber

    Well said diff. All these finesse guys go missing come playoff hockey. Well known fact

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