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I never caught the full Tampa game, but given the forums I can guess what happened. It’s just more of the same for the slumping Rangers who have gotten points in games they really didn’t deserve to get anything out of. Once again tonight the Rangers were outworked by an opposing team, and for the vast majority of the year this simply was not the case. Why has this happened? I think there are a few reasons. First, there are peaks and valleys to a season, and the Rangers are in a valley right now. Second, the loss of Ryan Callahan has been far more profound than simply his stats. Unlike Captain Cardboard, Callahan makes you see him on the ice at all times. You know he is there, even if he isn’t scoring, Drury on the other hand could have been a ghost floating around out there and have been more noticeable than he actually was tonight. Finally I think that the Rangers have established themselves as one of the above average teams. A team that has a shot at the playoffs, and as such, all the teams around them are gunning for them. They have a very tenuous hold on a playoff spot that could easily fall apart at any given moment, and there are tons of teams waiting to wrestle it away from us.

The Rangers had their chances tonight, that’s for sure. Despite being outplayed for such a huge amount of time, they got many scoring chances, however Vokoun was superb. Not that Biron wasn’t, but Vokoun was that much better. Give credit to him, he earned his team a victory. However the fact remains that the team has come out flat for several games in a row, including tonight, and that is absolutely unacceptable. If I were Torts, I think it would be time for a punishing skate a-la Herb Brooks, because, like the movie, I think this team feels like it can get by on talent alone at this point, and, again like the movie, they don’t have enough talent to get by on talent alone.

OK, long day, going to get some rest. By the way I did watch both WJC games today that were aired, but as neither had Rangers prospects in them I won’t bother really saying much except that the Russia-Finland game was awesome, and that Benjamin Conz should get a look see from an NHL team, the kid has been spectacular for 2 straight WJC’s.

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