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Notes from the loss.
- There is a saying that goes: "Nothing changes if nothing changes." Well, nothing changed between the way the New York Rangers played in Buffalo and the way they played in Winnipeg, and both games resulted in identical losses. Here's why this is really concerning: After the Buffalo game John Tortorella was visibly furious, ripped the media and made it clear his message that the team's play wasn't acceptable got across to the players. The players agreed, and almost all of them talked about how important the game was Thursday night to get them back on the right track. The result? Nothing. No change, no nothing. The same players combined for the Rangers' only goal, the team created no other offense, got one power play and gave up an unlucky goal that wouldn't have happened if the defenseman were playing tough in their own zone. The same thing. The exact same thing. And it's another two points out the window.
- I went from concerned about this team in the beginning of the year, to not concerned, to confident and now back to concerned again. These past two games have been tough to swallow.
- Do you think this team misses Marc Staal? Wow.
- I don't think Henrik Lundqvist was bad at all, in fact I thought he was really good, but another unlucky goal costs him another game in the loss column. He can't be hung out to dry if he gives up two goals a game. Not with this team.
- I get the frustration from fans about Marian Gaborik, but at least he's making things happen. He created a penalty shot out of nothing, flubbed the puck and suddenly he's terrible? Come on. When things aren't going well mistakes like that happen. He apparently broke his stick into a million pieces when he got back to the bench. I hate people saying he doesn't care and I hate people saying he's useless. Who else made things happen Thursday not named Ryan Callahan, Derek Stepan and occasionally Rick Nash?
- Another problem in the loss? The bottom six did nothing offensively. J.T. Miller was one of the few who was even taking shots, but he made a few really tough turnovers (expected of a 20-year-old) that cost the Rangers a couple of chances. Regardless, the bottom six have to be better. They have to start creating chances, they have to make the other side work. To this point, they haven't, at all. And it shows.
- I don't think the Rangers played bad until the third period. But that third period was bad. Really bad. The best chances they had were with the goalie pulled and a minute left on the clock. And even that only lasted 30 seconds. That can't be when the offense comes to life. Not enough time.
- What's the solution? I don't know, honestly. I think moving Gaborik back to the right wing is something that should happen tomorrow. Gaborik obviously isn't comfortable on the other side and he's one of the Rangers' best players. I know Tortorella loves to shake up the lines, but this move isn't working, hasn't worked and probably won't work in the future. Just move him back.
- Trades? Maybe. Maybe not. But something has to happen. I don't buy that the team is tuning out Tortorella, but something is wrong. I don't know what the solution is right now.
- By the way, people wonder why Tortorella is so gruff with the media, last night is a great example why. Some reporter (I don't know who, but I would have to assume they were from Winnipeg) asked Tortorella about the "Tor-tor-ella" chants the fans rained down Thursday. Are you kidding? What kind of an answer did you expect to get? What's even the point of that question? The point is to get a rise out of the coach. It didn't work, but come on, grow up.