Regardless of the Rangers' record, things need to change.
Their record is nothing more than a smokescreen, a figment of the imagination.
I generally do not want to be negative about the Rangers, but I just can’t help myself at this point in the season—especially after watching that disaster against Washington the other night.
The third period was truly the Alexander Ovechkin show—and as much as I enjoy watching him play, it was excruciating to watch the Rangers collapse and look indifferent.
I have been a huge advocate for Tom Renney. I appreciate everything he’s done for the team. Three consecutive playoff appearances after the lockout—impressive and noteworthy.
However, I begin to wonder how much of that success should be attributed to his coaching, versus Jaromir Jagr’s record-setting season following the lockout and the emergence of the King himself, Henrik Lundqvist.
I have come to the conclusion that Renney, although he was a part of that, cannot be given all the credit, and at this point, he is hurting the Rangers.
His line combinations are laughable. How can he justify playing Chris Drury with Nigel Dawes and Ryan Callahan flanking him? I am a huge Ryan Callahan fan—I think he's earned those minutes and that opportunity.
But Nigel Dawes? It’s a waste of Drury. At the very least he needs to move Naslund to play alongside Drury, and I would like to see Callahan play with Gomez and Zherdev.
It’s hard to justify firing a coach with Renney’s record, but in my opinion, if the Rangers don't at the very least advance to the semi-finals, he needs to be let go. They need a different coach, one who, in-between periods during a game, like the one against the Capitals, will unleash hell on the team and wake them up.
They need a coach with a definite and strong voice. Maybe John Tortorella is the right answer. I can’t be sure, but I do know that this is a different Rangers team.
They have no clear leadership, no voice in the locker room. Chris Drury is a class act; an example of how a professional athlete should behave, and an example of how the game should be played—but he’s not the right leader for this team.
This brings me to my next point—the Rangers need to sign Brendan Shanahan. For all the skeptics out there, let me ask you a question. Who is going to score more goals this season—Lauri Korpikoski, Nigel Dawes, Aaron Voros, Dan Fritsche, Petr Prucha, or Brendan Shanahan? The question practically answers itself.
Shanny would have exploded after the game last night. He's a throwback veteran who would have had no problem standing up in the center of the room and saying what needs to be said. He can play on the third line with Dubinsky, which would give him a veteran to play with, and maybe will help him move on from his sophomore slump.
Why Sather didn’t sign him after training camp is beyond me. Instead, he collected a surplus of third-line players who are clogging up cap space and giving next to nothing in return. Well done Glen, well done.