A Win Could Not Have Come at a Worse Time for the New York Rangers

Greg CaggianoSenior Writer IDecember 30, 2008




If you told me to describe the way the New York Rangers have played for the last two months, those are the three words I would use to describe their play. They have been just downright awful, and playing with no sense of urgency.

I don't mean to brag but it is good to be right every once in a while, so when I said that first place was all a mirage, I think I actually hit the nail on the head. People complained and wrote to me that I was just a kid with too much time on his hands.

To actually proclaim that a first place team could be playing like absolute garbage, how dare he! Well I think it's safe to say now that not everything is hunky dory for the Broadway Blue Shirts as they are now being ridiculed by the media and a writer who I used to not be able to stand, and that's Larry Brooks of the New York Post.

He used to be such an annoying and negative writer years ago and I hated him for that. But now, I must say he is a genius as he is finally seeing things the way the fan base has for the last couple of months, and hopefully how Rangers' management will see it shortly.

Going into last night's game against the Islanders, I did something that I had not done once in my entire life, and that was root against the New York Rangers. I wanted them to lose and when the Islanders had the lead going into the third period, I was as happy as my heart would allow in the event called watching hockey.

Was I annoyed a little bit? Of course. Getting embarrassed on national television against a joke of a hockey franchise like the New York Islanders is not something to smile about but it would finally allow something to happen that I've been wishing for the past two seasons, and that's the firing of Tom Renney.

Had the Rangers lost, I truly believe he would have gotten the axe last night or early this morning, but because the Rangers barely won against the worst team in the NHL, everything is now fine and Renney has bought himself at least another 10 games.

It's true that a win is a win, and especially one in regulation when you consider the Rangers had only won twice in regulation in their last fifteen games prior to last night.

But can one really be happy and enthused about last night's win? Not entirely, and don't let the two points fool you.

The Islanders who have been simply a dreadful team all season with no offense, a no name defense and a goaltender who belongs in the ECHL somewhere outplayed the Rangers for the first half of the game and I believe it was only because the hockey Gods have a sense of humor that the Rangers were only down by one after the second period.

The Rangers defense was horrendous again as Wade Redden continued to skate around in a trance and Dmitri Kalinin continued to check and take out his own players. Michal Rozsival isn't even the problem any more and for all the bashing I have given him this season, he has won back my respect. But why are Kalinin and Redden allowed to play and mess up game after game while a much cheaper and more solid defenseman is just a phone call away?

That once again falls back on head coach Tom Renney. When Corey Potter was called up the first time, he played very calm and steady only to be scratched and sent down in the next game. He was then called up a second time where he registered his first NHL point Saturday against the Devils, but he is scratched the next night. Makes absolutely no sense, but then again that is the theme of this year's Rangers season.

So anyway, getting back to the game, the Rangers apparently had a fire lit underneath them because they erupted for four goals in the third period of last night's game (only to blow the lead once in that span) and ended up winning the game 5-4.

The box score should have read: New York Rangers 5, Bridgeport Sound Tigers 4, but it didn't.

Fans smiled, players were happy, the coaching staff was satisfied. But how can a one goal win over an awful opponent solve anything? If anything it only delays the inevitable. This Rangers team is never going to win anything under Tom Renney and last night was the one chance to fire him and move on, but they win a game they shouldn't have and bought their coach another chance to screw up.