I think what I find the most disturbing in the loss to Montreal last night is this feeling we don't have the toughness it takes to win a cup. We play teams that have players like Chris Neil, David Clarkson, Milan Lucic, Wayne Simmonds, Brooks Orpik, and so on and so on with no answer for these types of players. The Rangers appear to play small and let these guys dictate the game. Is Chris Neil as good a player as Gaborik? No, but he can wreck a game if you allow him to bully your better players.
The Rangers continue to let these types of players fly all over the ice throwing devastating body checks, and cross checking Brad Richards every chance they get. A good power play would solve some of this, but you have to take these players to task or it will keep on happening. Now you let a player like Max Pacioretty get away with taking a run at your best defenseman and its no wonder we look lost. You win as a team and you lose as a team, but you should aways play like a team. Last night I didn't feel like we are a team and really did not get the sense they cared about one another.
Now some of you pacifists are against fighting, but the last time I checked hockey is a physical game. A game that allows intimidation. When Milan Lucic gave Lundquist the stick and not one person went over to answer the bell, you send a message to the rest of the league that you don't have the make-up to deal with players attempting to play a little dirty. The reason we had success in the early to mid 90's is the ability to put Graves on the ice with Messier, or Beukeboom on the ice with Leetch. When you lack a player that can play a regular shift and mix it up a little you have what happened last night in Montreal. Sending a goon to rough him up is not the answer ,because in the end your best players need to be on the ice. This is why you need a player that can play physical and score goals or a defenseman that is capable to defend and mix it up.
Montreal is not a big team, but you allowed them to play big. We lost the game and our best defenseman, and we deserved to lose the game because we allowed ourselves to be victims. Next game is not the time or place to send the message 2 points are so important in this game. Last night was the time and place to take care of our own and to show the league if you run around on us we will take care of it.
This is about being a team. If I was Mcdounaugh I would be upset no one stood up for me. The Rangers are missing a tough physical power forward, a mean defenseman, and a shot from the point to be respected by opposing teams. That is a lot of need to have in half a season. I don't see how they can fill all of these needs for a deep playoff run.