The Rangers blueline was a horror show tonight. There’s just no other way to put it. Dan Girardi was benched. The entire D would throw the puck away with tape to tape turnovers like they didn’t care what would happen if they did. Even Ryan McDonagh, the pillar of the Rangers D (yes, I think he’s been more important, and a better player than Dan Girardi this season) was awful in his own zone, blowing a tire leading the Rangers to fall behind early, and just not looking like he had the same jump and the same strength as he has in the past.
In short, the Rangers laid a huge egg at the Rock tonight. The Defense was awful, the Offense was mediocre at best, and Henrik Lundqvist, while good, wasn’t good enough to bail out this team tonight. It’s not like the Devils played a great game either. They really didn’t. They were guilty of some turnovers themselves, they weren’t killing the Rangers with sustained offensive zone chances, none of that. The Rangers were just….stupid. I’m just not used to seeing a John Tortorella coached Rangers team be both lazy and stupid in the same game. Tonight we saw both. Marian Gaborik has had much better games. The play where he waited in the slot with the puck on his stick for like 2 hours and 18 minutes while the entire world had enough time to jump in and steal the puck from him…what the hell was that all about? Ryan Callahan was a complete non-factor. And Torts’ decision to scratch Mitchell in favor of Scott? What in holy hell was that about? What does Scott bring to this team? He had his first fight ever as a Ranger and I’d call it a draw at best. The guy brings nothing to the table other than his fighting, and even that it’s not like he’s exactly intimidating when Janssen can hold his own against him. Torts needs to have his head examined for having Scott in for this one. Losing Dubi early on didn’t help either, as he’s a guy you can usually count on for a few decent hits, or at least hold the boards there for the Rangers.
All in all this was just a clusterfrak. One of a seldom few thankfully. It’s hard not to be furious after what you saw tonight, but really, all you need to do is look at the NHL standings. The Rangers are still running away with the Division & Conference crown. You can’t win every game.