Rangers Vs. Predators: This Is Getting Ugly

Bruce Bennett

Notes from the Rangers' loss to the Predators.

- The New York Rangers are currently in the nexus when it comes to professional sports. They're probably a good enough team right now to make the playoffs, but they're not good enough to truly contend. They're also not bad enough to tank for a quality draft choice. No team wants to be where the Rangers are right now. It's the worst thing you can do. Granted, getting into the dance makes any team dangerous, but the Rangers need to figure out who they are. They either need to make some moves to trim the fat and give the kids tons of minutes to season as the Rangers drive towards a better draft selection, or they need to make some moves to bring the battle level (and goal scoring) back to the locker room. But they can't just sit like this.

- This, obviously, means it's time for Glen Sather to step in. It's not Alain Vigneault's fault the bigger players aren't preforming the way they're supposed to be. He's made a couple of references to the personnel the team has "at this time," which leads me to believe changes are coming.

- I do, however, doubt the Rangers go young for the better draft picks. And in a way, I can't blame them. You only have so much much more of Henrik Lundqvist's prime left, you may as well make a run while you can. That being said, the Rangers can't exactly mortgage the future because, well, who knows if the changes made will be good enough to make the team take the next step.

- Good thing the Rangers added all that grit and toughness, right?

- Ryan Callahan is out for 4-6 weeks which is bad simply because the Rangers lose another skill player, but let's face the reality here: He's been pretty terrible all year. This has nothing to do with goals and assists, but his battle level isn't there. When's the last time you could say that?

- So much for that player's only meeting, eh? Looked like it really sparked the boys. In truth, the Rangers came out about as flat as I've seen this year. This is a problem. This is a major problem. Especially if that's the effort that comes right after the team's leaders have stern words with everyone.

- Anyone see anyone playing defense last night. Ryan McDonagh looked OK, aside from that it was pretty horrible from everyone. On two of the Predators' three goals Hank had no chance because no one was in front, you know, playing defense. Can't blame him there.

- Since we're playing the blame game, Carl Hagelin has been pretty terrible too, in all three zones. Derek Stepan's offense has been a complete crap shoot, but at least he's been OK in his own end. Rick Nash needs to score more, plain and simple.

- The power play did generate a few really good chances, but again, no finish.

- I will say this: The Rangers deserved to lose the game. However, if Derick Brassard's rip from the right circle hits the back of the net rather than the post the game is 2-2 and I'm not so sure the Rangers lose the game. Luck is a factor sometimes, but you still need to find a way to win the game if things aren't going your way.

- 0-2-1 to start this nine-game homestand.

- 1-6-1 in the past eight games at home.

- 15-16-1 on the year, and the team dropped out of the automatic berth from the Metropolitan with the loss last night.

- Not much else to say. It's just ugly. Uuuuugly.

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