New York Rangers, Mats Zuccarello
Photo by Bergen Record

The New York Rangers were a no-show tonight at Madison Square Garden, where they had even the most devout of optimists showing cynicism. 

New York Rangers 1 (17-7-3, 37 pts)
Colorado Avalanche 2 (11-14-1, 23 pts)
NHL, Final Game Box Score
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

By Chris Wengert

The New York Rangers have done it again.

Just when you start to think the Blueshirts have turned a corner and started playing decent hockey, they lose 2-1 to the lowly Colorado Avalanche.

Yes, the Rangers played a very emotional game against the Islanders last night, but fans are tired of these excuses. There is no reason that a professional team should come out as flat as the Rangers did tonight, period.

The first period was a complete snooze-fest. Both teams combined for a grand total of seven shots, and he Rangers looked exhausted right from the first puck-drop.

Gone was the hustle and proactive play from last night. Gone was the defensive involvement in the offensive zone that led to scoring chances. What fans saw tonight was a Ranger team that was merely existing.

These efforts (if you can call them that) need to stop, and fast.

But let’s take a step back, because it would be wrong not to mention the outstanding job MSG did tonight, on “Garden of Dreams” night.

The Garden of Dreams Foundation is an amazing organization, devoted to helping children who are facing serious adversity in life.

Enter Kayleigh Petersen, who was one of the children being honored tonight.

One would think that Kayleigh’s beloved Blueshirts would give her the performance that she deserved on this special night.

Instead, what Kayleigh and thousands of other Rangers fans were presented with were blown coverage like this:

Chris Wagner was given a beautiful stretch pass , and took full advantage of the space. Dan Boyle over committed to Cody McLeod and left Antti Raanta out to dry.

Wagner’s wicked wrist shot put the Avs up 1-0.

The Ranger’s lack of physical play would bite them again four minutes later.

Matt Duchene’s goal looked eerily similar to Wagner’s, and put the Avs up 2-0.

The Rangers showed some signs of life in the 3rd period, like when Oscar Lindberg put one past net minder Semyon Varlamov.

But this effort was far too little, too late.

The Rangers need to figure out their issues, and quick. Their closest opponents in the Metropolitan Division (Washington, Islanders) keep winning, and the Rangers will be lucky just to make the playoffs if they don’t make a change for the better.

Fans are sick of the excuses. You know why? Because the rest of us have to go to work and give our best effort, no matter how tired we are.

It would be nice if the Rangers returned to favor sometime soon.

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I've been a die hard Rangers and Giants fan for as long as I can remember. I enjoy sharing opinions, and hearing from fans that love their teams just as much as I do. Henrik Lundqvist makes all of us look like mere mortals. E-mail me at: