Hey Puck Heads: Are The Rangers Contenders? Plus, Athlete of the Decade

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NEW YORK, NY  – Rangers win, Rangers lose. That’s pretty much been the pattern for the entire season so far. NFL Football, MLB Baseball, NHL HockeyThe Blueshirts lost to the Maple Leafs a week ago, then beat the Ducks before losing to the Philadelphia Flyers in their last game before Christmas. Then the Rangers came out of the break by beating the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3 last night.

All of this winning and losing has left the team in a terrible limbo. They’re not good enough to make the playoffs, yet they’re not bad enough to get a good draft pick in the lottery. (Think NY J-E-T-S).

Things could definitely change, as the Blueshirts have 45 games to go. It’s always strange rooting for your team to simultaneously win and lose (see Giants vs Eagles and Buddy Diaz’s column). I want the Rangers to lose as many games as possible, but I also want the team to play well from game to game. I understand Nixon’s “Peace with Honor” campaign pledge now.

THE CONUNDRUM

The Rangers have played some good hockey at times. Like Sherlock Holmes, they play well with a lead. Conversely, they’ve been dreadful playing from behind. If they can score first, they’re in good shape. If they concede early, then things get ugly quickly. There doesn’t seem to be much in-between. There hasn’t been a bunch of come-from-behind wins but there haven’t been many multiple-goal collapses, either.

In all honesty… I’m rooting for the Rangers to lose as many games as possible. There is a deep class of prospects that should be available in the 202o draft. Alexis Lafreniere looks to top the class of 2020 as he continues to shine in Quebec Major Juniors. This year’s draft class includes a lot of Canadians, a few Swedes, the odd Russian and very few Americans. The last couple of drafts boasted a host of American prospects, but this year belongs to our neighbors to the north.

Currently the Rangers won’t be privy to any of the top prospects in the draft since there are too many teams worse off in the standings… BUT HERE’S HOPING, as there’s a long way to go. Some trades are still in works that should lead to a few more losses, which will help their draft cause.

In other sports news…

The New York Post named Jacob deGrom the NY Athlete of the Decade. The two-time Cy Young Award winning flamethrower beat out the likes of Carmelo Anthony, John Tavares, and Henrik Lundqvist for the honor despite not being active for the first four years of the decade.

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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.

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