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Things are looking grim in Rangerland, and not just for people who bet online. With a chance to climb within 1 point of the 8th placed Bruins the Rangers instead fell further back in the standings as the Thrashers…yes, the THRASHERS, leap-frogged us for 9th. It was a rather difficult game to judge tonight because I think we can all agree that the Rangers, by and large, were the better team. They had a territorial advantage, they had a shot advantage, they had some great scoring chances (though the Blues probably had the better chances, albeit fewer) and all in all played a pretty good game. Unfortunately it was their rock that let them down. Henrik Lundqvist was not good tonight. Dare I say he was terrible? Honestly, I would have probably pulled him after the second goal. Henrik was fighting the puck all night long, easy shots were flubbed, his glove hand was consistently lower than usual, and pucks just weren’t sticking to him. Lundqvist gave up a softie for the game winner, probably should have had the deflection goal that went in off of Reddens stick, and was not properly set for the Boyes goal. All in all I almost want to fault Torts for not pulling Henrik when he had the chance. Especially when the game winner was such a terrible goal for your goalie to give up. I understand the rationale though. He’s your guy, you want to win or lose with the best guy in net, sadly, today, it cost us. Henrik didn’t have it, and the Rangers couldn’t muster up enough offense to bail him out like he has bailed the team out countless times before. It’s that seemingly never ending paradigm this team has. Two things go right, one thing goes wrong. That thing goes right, the other 2 start failing us. Very rarely are we able to muster up a full 60 minute effort with all the cylinders clicking. That could be a result of having a deeply flawed team, or it could be the result of having deeply flawed leadership. At this point, I am thinking a little bit of both.

This next game against the Bruins is quite simply a must win. If the Rangers lose in regulation, they will be 5 points back with the Bruins having 1 game in hand. If the Bruins go .500 the rest of the way they would finish with 87 points. In order to overtake them, the Rangers would need to go 8-1-1 in their final 10 games, a daunting task to ask of any team, especially one as bi-polar as this one. Let’s see how this all plays out.

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