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Even a drugged up woozy sick old yours truly could see this one coming a mile away. The Rangers lost a heartbreaker tonight, which they had 2 separate leads of 2 or more goals thanks to 2 blatant things that have been continuing since the Kings game. The Rangers gap control has gotten worse, and their turnovers continue to happen at untimely moments in the game.

Let’s start with the turnovers. Turnovers are what saw Brandon Dubinsky end up on the bench. Turnovers are one thing, but today the Rangers had a plethora of unforced turnovers, and today they most certainly came back to haunt us as they ended up in the back of our net more often than not. The sloppy passing seems to be a staple of a team that is getting worse as the season goes on, and will most certainly need to be addressed if they plan on snapping out of this now 3 game losing streak.

But what concerns me more than anything right now is the gap control. The gaps have consistently gotten bigger and bigger since the Kings game. In the first several games we gave the opposition very little time and space to operate, but as the games have gone by, that time, and space have both increased ever so slightly, culminating in tonight where the Habs had all day to pick and choose where to shoot the puck on Henrik. I’m sure some misguided Ranger fans will blame Henrik for this loss, which is ridiculous considering the manner in which the goals were scored, but regardless, no goalie is going to stop the opposition when they have all day to pick their spots and fire pucks home top corner. Defense is all about controlling your gaps. Play on your toes, not on your heels, and that is something the Rangers have gotten away from.

Another thing that continues to frustrate the hell out of me is Torts’ continued use of Enver Lisin in a position he flat out hasn’t earned. If Dubinsky and Higgins were benched because of sloppy play (and rightfully so) then someone needs to explain to me on the flip side what Lisin has done to earn such a position on the team. Watch the guy when the puck is on his stick, it’s either turned over, shot wide, or mishandled, or he is pushed off the puck within 1/2 a second of him touching it. It’s like clockwork. The guy does basically nothing positive in the offensive zone whatsoever. I just don’t get it, I really don’t. Someone out there will be like, well what about that great pass to Gaborik for the breakaway goal, but seriously, if it was such a great pass, why did Gaborik have to reach behind himself deflect the puck back towards him, and skate into it, rather than taking it in on a tape to tape pass. Right now, to me, there is only 1 player on the Rangers roster who draws as much attention to himself as Marian Gaborik does, and his name is Sean Avery. You want your opposite winger for Gaborik who will create time and space for Gabby, you have it. It’s time for Torts to stop drinking the Kool Aid and to realize that Lisin is nothing more than a borderline 4th liner being paired with 2 solid players who are dragging his worthless behind up and down the ice. Kid has speed, but he handles the puck like a live hand grenade.


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