Athletes need to have short memories. You've heard the saying "You can't get too high when things are going well or too low when things are bad." Right now things have gone pretty badly for the New York Rangers. They took a tough loss on the chin in Game 1, and a terrible 20 minutes cost them Game 2. Now the Rangers are down 2-0 in a series against a very deep and good team.
You don't need me to tell you being down 3-0 would be a death blow without being a true death blow. The Rangers can't afford to be down 3-0 to Boston.
Which makes Game 3 at Madison Square Garden a must win. The Rangers play much better on home ice, it's a fact that can't be ignored. The Rangers turned the series against Washington because of twin 4-3 victories on home ice to tie the series at two. Now they need to do the same thing. Only against a better team. A more experienced team.
And there's the risk of losing the first two games on the road. Yes, the Rangers came back from such a hole in the first round, but no team in NHL history has even won back-to-back series in which they've been down 2-0.
But this Rangers team has already made history. They came back to win a series in which they were down 2-0 for only the third time in their history in the first round. They also won a Game 7 on the road for the first time in team history. Who is to say this team can't do that again?
Things needs to be fixed, though. There's no way around it. The power play has to be better (or at least get a different look), the forwards have to cover the point even when the puck isn't there and the Rangers need to keep a sustained effort for 60 minutes (or more if the game goes into overtime).
The Rangers have a ton of problems. But they're fixable. It's time John Tortorella, well, fixed them. Or at least tried.
Give Carl Hagelin and Chris Kreider more power play time. Take Brad Richards off the power play altogether. Let John Moore run the point for one of the units. Put someone (Rick Nash preferably) in front of the net. Maybe put Derek Stepan back at the point (even though he kind of looked lost there in Game 1). I don't know what the magic button is, or what the codes are. I just know that what Tortorella is inputting isn't going through or working.
That has to change sooner rather than later.
Actually it has to change tonight. The Rangers can't afford to lose this game.