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Rangers Vs. Jets: Inconsistent, Frustrating And Another Loss

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Notes from the Rangers' loss to the Jets.

Bruce Bennett

- I know sometimes things get loopy here in the game threads (this isn't directed at most of you) and I know things get really, really loopy on Twitter and Facebook, but these knee-jerk reactions game after game frustrate the hell out of me. Last night's 5-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets doesn't mean Cam Talbot "sucks" because he finally gave up more than two goals. It also doesn't mean Alain Vigneault is "a horrible coach" for not starting Henrik Lundqvist. The Rangers left their keeper out to dry last night. Plain and simple. Talbot made some huge saves, the panicked masses just don't realize that because they see that Talbot let up four goals and instantly assume he rolled over. Not true.

- Also, there was never a goalie controversy. There isn't a goalie controversy today, and that has nothing to do with the Rangers' loss last night. It just doesn't. Sometimes I think the media really tries to make something out of nothing when they have pages to fill, this is one of those instances.

- This team's inconsistency is killing me. It's also killing them. The Rangers are a .500 team because they can't string wins together. It's not even as though the Rangers are getting beaten, most of the time they're beating themselves. Monday's final 30 minutes saw eight or nine major meltdowns. Four of them hit the back of the Rangers' net. That's a recipe for disaster, and something the Rangers are paying for.

- Some of the lowlights? The Derick Brassard pass (on a 4-on-2 no less) right through the middle of the ice which caught four Rangers deep and gave the Jets a 2-1 lead. Or how about the Rangers' defense completely losing Olli Jokinen (who seems to be a Ranger-killer now) for the eventual game-winning goal? Sloppy. Stupid. Frustrating. Chalk up another loss.

- The good news is most of these problems are fixable. The bad news is that we're beyond the quarter pole and we still haven't seen that much improvement. Yes, this team is still miles better than the team that started the season, but 14-14 (and 5-5 in their last 10) isn't going to cut it.

- And yet, what's the solution? Bring in some more skill? Try to strengthen the defense? My only reservation about moves like that is the overriding fact that 50% of the time this team plays they're competent. Hell, they're good. Look at the win over Vancouver. They were scoring, defending well, got great goaltending and had a power play that converted. Last night? There wasn't much of that for very long. So, before you go begging for a big move, remember it might hurt more than it helps.

- Mats Zuccarello, Chris Kreider, Ryan Callahan and Ryan McDonagh were my standouts. So were Carl Hagelin (best game in a long while) and, actually, Benoit Pouliot. Rick Nash was hot and cold. That's the list. Everyone else went from invisible to bad.

I don't have much more to say from that. Thoughts, guys?

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