While the Rangers and company were still thinking about their stellar 10-0-3 performance while traveling to the Sunshine State, two non-playoff Florida teams have showed the blue shirts what it really takes to win hockey games.
The Rangers lost a tough battle against a Florida Panthers team that is two points behind Philadelphia for the eighth and final playoff spot. It was their first regulation loss in 13 games, which made them the hottest team in the NHL during that span.
Coming into Tampa bay the next night, the Rangers were ready to start a new streak of wins. Instead they were shutout by one of the worst teams in the NHL. The Rangers looked like they were playing with 10-pound weights tied to their ankles.
"Maybe we felt like we’ve arrived and that teams will respect us just because of who and what we are, and just hand over the two points," Rangers head coach Tom Renney said this after a terrible performance against Tampa, a team that will likely be watching the postseason on TV.
"Maybe we are not spending exactly what needs to be spent in order to win, in terms of your body, your mind, even your ego to a point."
Renney couldn't have said anything better to describe the past two loses. But what exactly do the Rangers have to do to get back where they left off? Should Renney shuffle the lines once again? Maybe the blue shirts so-called Captain (Jagr) should be taken off the power play.
One thing they must do that they haven't done in the past two games is drive to the net, which leads to rebounds and goals. The blue shirts have the young talent and speed that can cripple opposing teams defences, but they keep the puck to the outside waiting for that perfect play and, before you know it, the puck is turned over as fast as Jagr's career is headed to nowhere.
What ever the coaching staff decides, it has to be quick and effective or the Rangers will be cleaning out their lockers early. Tonight the Penguins visit the Garden to take on the Rangers in a must-win for the blue shirts and hopefully Tom Renney tightened all the lose nuts and bolts to get his team two points.
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