I couldn’t seem to get the video to embed right today, so I’ll just have to let you go to the NHL.com site and load it from there…sorry ’bout that.
The Rangers didn’t lose tonight because they don’t have Rick Nash. He probably would have helped, but his absence wasn’t why we lost. We lost because we let the Penguins dictate how this game was going to be played. And why did that happen? The Rangers were excruciatingly slow on the forecheck. They usually get in quick, hard, and hit the crap out of the defenseman there with the puck. Tonight, the defenseman had all day to find the outlet pass, to make the pass, and to easily sidestep the hit. The Rangers weren’t lethargic, instead it looked like they got a little intimidated by the Pens transition game. The Pens don’t play a trap, they play a system that forces you to make passes you don’t want to, and they transition quickly. They also do a phenomenal job at the points, where they are open all day since the Rangers opt to collapse down into “the house” rather than man those points.
With those points open all day, the Pens were able to regroup on sustained pressure opportunities at will. Cycle, drop the puck to the open points, and reset. It happened all….night….long. Rick Nash wouldn’t have made a difference.
The Rangers need to play Rangers hockey. We aren’t good enough to play the way the other team wants to play. We aren’t talented enough, we aren’t skilled enough. While Rick Nash would certainly help in both of those aspects, he isn’t enough. The Rangers need to have all their players all on the same page, all playing the same style. I don’t know what the hell happened today, but it looked like they were off.
I’d wager the trade deadline is wearing on some of our players. They’ve all heard the names being thrown around, and you have to think they are just a tad bit worried that they will be the person going from the first place Rangers to the last place Blue Jackets in exchange for Rick Nash.
While I still maintain the Rangers should go hard after Nash, they should only do so at THEIR price, not at Columbus’s. Dubinsky, Sauer, Mcilrath, Thomas or St. Croix, first in 2012…hell throw in a first in 2013 if that puts us over the top.