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The Rangers played a truly awful game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and as such they paid the price with a serious ass whooping that was only slightly tempered when the Lightning decided to focus solely on setting up Ryan Malone for the hat trick. Tonight, in my personal opinion, the Rangers still played a pretty awful game, and the only reason they didnt get slaughtered tonight was because the Florida Panthers have about as much offensive firepower as my beer league team. The Panthers outshot the Rangers by a greater than 2-1 margin. They had numerous glorious scoring chances and if not for their inability to hit the net, or their ability to put the puck anywhere except for Henriks chest, they would have easily won. Make no mistake about it folks, we didn’t deserve to win this one tonight. We only won because of the ineptitude of our opposition.

I do, however, like what Tortorella did with the lines. His in game feel, as usual, was impeccable. Torts swapped Avery for Frolov and gave Avery a lot of the big minutes in the game, and Frolov as few shifts as possible. I was never happy with the Frolov signing, and so far this season he has lived up to my billing. A total waste of a contract. Equally abhorrent has been the play of Matt Gilroy. Gilroy has been flat out awful in his own zone, constantly causing Michael Sauer to completely vacate his side in preparation for Gilroy screwing up. Give some serious kudos to Sauer, his play has been absolutely phenomenal, and his ability to offset Gilroys awful play is nothing short of a marvel.

The Rangers need to get back to basics here and play their pressure game. They have to play balls to the wall as I have discussed repeatedly, and they have to play North American hockey. A team that is not very talented can’t try to play like a team that is, you have games like tonight if they do.

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