The New York Rangers apparently do not desire to participate in the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs based on the sub-par effort displayed this afternoon in a 2-1 loss to the Boston Bruins. The players can tell you that they still believe, they can tell you they have what it takes, but the fact is that they could not get up and play in a game seven atmosphere this afternoon, which is a tell-tale sign that they do not have what it takes. They do not have the heart, or the desire, and because of this their playoff hopes have been crushed.
An entire season, seventy-one games, was played by this team before today, and all of those games came down to this one single contest in Boston. It was do or die for this team, otherwise they would likely not make the playoffs. Taking these conditions into consideration, you would think that John Tortorella's hockey club would be able to come out and play some desperate hockey. Well, once again they surprised us and came out flat in the most important game of the season. The bottom line is that they do not deserve to make the playoffs, because apparently they just do not care.
The way in which the Blueshirts started this game was comical. Henrik Lundqvist was forced to stand on his head while the rest of the team stood around dumbfounded. That scene right there is a microcosm of the Rangers season; letting their goaltender do all of the work while they stand around and hope for the best. I am surprised Lundqvist has yet to explode.
The second period may have been even worse than the first, not being able to get a single shot on goal during a four-minute powerplay. The powerplay has been bad this season, there is no question about that, but it has never been this bad. No shots with a man advantage for four minutes. This goes back to what I was saying about not caring and having no desire.
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On Satan's goal, yet again, the players stood around and watched the play develop, giving Henrik Lundqvist no help.
After Dennis Wideman's backhander beat Lundqvist high in the third to give the B's a 2-0 lead, the Blueshirts responded with a goal by Michael Del Zotto, his eighth of the season. Then, like the Rangers always seem to do, they showed desperation in the final two minutes but came up short of the comeback. It was too little too late at that point, and the final Bruin clear that got past Rozsival sent head coach John Tortorella jumping up and down in rage on the bench like a little toddler when they are told they cannot get the toy they want at the toy store.
I am not even going to go into specifics about this game because right now, it is more about the season as a whole. When you think about what we have learned about this team this year, only negative thoughts seem to pop into your mind. They are inconsistent, soft, lazy, non-caring, pathetic, cannot score, and do not know how to play defense while playing offense at the same time.
As Joe Fortunato of Blueshirt Banter said yesterday in his article, this season is over. It is over whether the Rangers make the playoffs or not, because you aren't going very far with efforts like this in the postseason. It is almost like nothing anyone does can motivate this hockey club and nothing can get them going. For example, they were being hit constantly in today's game, and it did not increase their urge to win or adjust their attitude. They just accepted it and did nothing about it.
The New York Rangers do not deserve to make the playoffs, and nothing they do in these last ten games is going to change my mind about that. There are so many other teams like the Thrashers and Hurricanes that want a spot in the playoffs much more badly than the Rangers do, and quite honestly, I rather see those teams playing in April than the Rangers.