It is going to take a miracle for the New York Rangers to make the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Boston Bruins were shutout by the Penguins 3-0, meaning the Blueshirts would move within a point of a playoff spot heading into Boston on Sunday if they won tonight. Of course, the Rangers never make things easy and lost another depressing game, leaving the ice with the same old deflated feeling they are used to when they play at Madison Square Garden. The Atlanta Thrashers defeated the Senators, also, meaning that they are now tied in points with New York in the Eastern Conference.
There is now eleven games remaining in the regular season, and the Rangers are going to need to win eight or nine of those in order to make the playoffs. When you consider how inconsistent this team has been all year long, the likelihood of them actually pulling this off is small, minute in fact. Like I said, it is going to take a miracle for them to make the playoffs.
Now I am going to take a break from the usual format I stick with when writing my postgame analysis/recaps. Most of us saw the game, we know the story, and we know why they lost. For those who didn't get to catch the game, below is a mini recap, and then below that is where the interesting stuff begins.
The Rangers cannot get up for games, plain and simple. That was evident tonight when Brad Boyes scored 1:10 into the contest. Ryan Callahan and Marian Gaborik then answered that with goals of their own in that first period. Unfortunately, they would gain no momentum from that, as the Blues went on to score two unanswered goals, putting the Blueshirts down 3-2.
Wade Redden buried a laser in the third period; his first goal in 58 games. (Pause and take a few seconds to let that sink in). However Paul Kariya tipped home an Oshie shot just over a minute later, which would be both the game-winner and his 400th career goal. The Rangers then had opportunities to make something happen on the powerplay, but as usual, they did nothing with it.
More after the Jump>>This team and its players need to be held accountable at this stage of the season. It doesn't seem like many people intend on pointing the finger, so I am going to do that right now.
Henrik Lundqvist: Tonight's performance is one that Henrik Lundqvist would like to forget. The Johnson goal was disturbing and the Boyes floater needs to be stopped. No, we should not trade him like some of the former writers on Blueshirt Banter have previously suggested, but at the very least, he is a player that is going to straighten himself out and come out better on Sunday.
Brandon Dubinsky: He may have skill, he may have potential, but he certainly does not have the smarts. For example, with about 15-20 seconds left in the third when the Rangers are trying to tie the game, he flings a shot off the side of the net and out of the zone. What is he thinking there? He had three men collapsing to the crease, no one was on him, and he also had an available point-man to his right. Instead, he makes an ignorant choice to bank the puck off the net.
Michal Rozsival/Wade Redden: There is not much to say here because I think all of the fans are smart enough to realize how much of a liability these two are on the ice. Congrats Wade; you are being paid $6.5 million to put two goals in the net all season long, with a 58-game span in between. That is $3.25 million per goal! Embarrassing.
Olli Jokinen: If Glen Sather knows what is good for him, he will not re-sign Jokinen when he becomes a free agent this summer. Just think; when was the last time you noticed Jokinen in a game? I rest my case.
At least Marian Gaborik woke up tonight after I called him out on the site earlier today. This was Gaborik's eighth three-point output this season.
There was very limited desperation in the Rangers game on this night. They let the Blues walk all over them in the defensive zone, and they could not bury open net opportunities down on the offensive end. (*cough* Prospal and Avery *cough*) But just think, you can watch it all in 3D next week!
Once again, it will take a miracle for the New York Rangers to make the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.