It was another bad day for the New York Rangers, and head coach Tom Renney must feel worse then anyone. It almost looks like the New York Rangers' ship has hit an iceberg, and as hard as he tries, the ship just keeps taking on more water, and sinking deeper.
The Rangers have started slowly many times this year. Today's 4-1 loss against the Ottawa Senators was the seventh consecutive game the Rangers have given up the first goal in the game, still somehow going .500 during that stretch at 3-3-1. They were able to keep themselves afloat with some points in those games because of dramatic and late comebacks, plus a pair of shootout wins.
However, anyone could tell you that it wouldn't last forever. For the Rangers, it was either shape up and play 60 minutes, or go down in flames until they figure it out. It seems the Rangers have chosen the latter of the two choices.
Tom Renney has always been a quiet guy. Never a lot of screaming, (at least in public) and never the coach who would grab a stick and smash it on the boards to call the ref over for a chat. Instead, Tom has always been a quiet coach, who knew when he needed to say something, and when to raise his voice (just a little bit) to get his team going.
It seems as though his frustrations may have boiled over this time. In a rare sight, Tom Renney gave his team what he thought might be a kick in the rear end. I'm sure it was something that happened in the locker room. Heck, with the amount of times the Rangers have come back from slow starts to win games this year, he must be saying something. But this time, he called his team to the bench and let them know what he was thinking.
He gave his team the rousing speech, it was the Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday moment his team needed to get their game together. Unfortunately for Tom, they didn't listen to him.
The Rangers played poorly for 99.5 percent of the game. They had a nice little jump to start the third period, but ended up letting Ottawa get it's fore check back. Eventually, this led to giving up a goal that hit off of Paul Mara, (who took a penalty in the first period which led to Ottawa's first goal) then off of Nick Foligno's skate, and then finally off of Rangers' goalie Steve Valiquette. It was the kind of goal that capped off the Rangers' day, a day where nothing went right.
Tom was clearly angry after Ottawa's third goal. According to Renney, Ottawa agitator Jarkko Ruutu interfered with Steve Valiquette. He got the ref over to talk, but alas, nothing would be changed. Renney's blood was boiling by the end of the game, and I'm sure he was happy to see it end.
Tom still had one thing left to do in the day, and that was to face the crazy media, which surely had a lot to ask. One question stood out.
During defenseman Paul Mara's post game interview, he said that the penalty he took in the first period, when he dished out retaliation to Jarrko Ruutu, was something he still felt he needed to do, even with the goal. When Tom Renney was told this by the press, his reply was "Ruutu was doing his job, he's an agitator, and all I saw was a white jersey going to the penalty box."
Renney also said that it was a bad play by a veteran guy. In an effort to ease up on one of his players, he then said that it was the team that messed up, however the message had already been sent. Now, the question is, will it be received?