Rangers Recap: Rangers' Playoff Hopes in Question after Pathetic Loss to Islanders

I'm going to give you a fair warning before you go ahead and read this entire postgame analysis. There is going to be more ranting than recapping, so if you want to remain completely optimistic and do not want to read about the truths of this disgrace that unfolded tonight at Nassau Coliseum, then you might as well exit out of this page. But if you are livid like I am, read on.

The Rangers had every opportunity to blow this game open in the first period. Their start was embarrassing, yes, but they then were handed five consecutive powerplays in the opening stanza, none of which they were able to capitalize on. Vinny Prospal did score at even strength a little past the midway mark of the first, but that would pretty much be the last of the Ranger offense in the game.

The missed opportunities began to come back and haunt the Bluesirts in the second period when the Islanders very quickly took a 3-1 lead after trailing by one during the intermission. It was only a matter of time until they would start to get chances of their own, and with the Ranger defense playing middles hockey, the Isles were able to find open space on the ice rather easily.

I am not going to go back and recap each and every Islander goal because, let's face it, none of us want to re-live that garbage. Instead, I am very explicitly going to point out the things that went wrong on the Rangers side of things here.

First of all, the effort was unacceptable. The Rangers were getting beat to all the loose pucks, they looked sluggish when trying to establish a forecheck and at least one of the defensemen was constantly getting caught pinching, resulting in odd-man rushes going the other way. This is the fourteenth place Islanders and there is a playoff spot at stake here - everything that I just listed absolutely should not be an issue at this crucial point of the season. It almost makes me ashamed to be a fan.

The players were lifeless on the ice, but they were also lifeless on the bench too. Every time the Ranger bench was shown everyone was sitting there in silence.  Where are the leaders to get some emotions going? Where are the big mouths on the team working the bench and telling their teammates to pull their heads out of their behinds? Even the coaches were silent. Tortorella, you rip the team a new hole in the media but you can't do it to their face during the game? Come on now.

The fact that the Rangers were that depleted and lacked that much motivation with the playoffs on the line is scary. It looked as if they did not even care, which is ridiculous.

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Beyond the effort and all the psychological stuff, their actual play was extremely poor as well. They were trying to force passes to make pretty plays instead of keeping things simple offensively, and that's why the powerplay epically failed tonight. They should know damn well that they don't have to get fancy in order to beat a fourteenth place team.

The defense.......actually, scratch that because there was none. There were Islanders being left open all over the place for easy goals around the net. Henrik Lundqvist, and later Chad Johnson, received no offensive or defensive support tonight. When they are getting no help like that you cannot expect them to do very much themselves. It's unfair.

Lundqvist, being the classy player that he is, withheld from calling out his team in his postgame press conference, although it was quite clear that he wanted to. Hank's stood on his head and poured his heart and soul into every game he's played as of late. It's disappointing to know that his teammates are not there to back him up and work their butts off for him.

Tortorella didn't have much to say after the game besides "I am not going to address anything." Great, make the team and organization into even more of a joke, why don't you? Not addressing anything? Since when does that happen in professional sports? As a coach, you should have no choice but to answer questions about the game. Not Tortorella, though, he just chooses not to.

That's all I have to say about tonight's 6-2 obliteration. The Rangers are hanging on to a playoff spot by only three points and with their next game being against the first place Philadelphia Flyers, that cushion may get even smaller by the time the weekend is over.