New York Rangers, Mats Zuccarello
Photo by Bergen Record

For the New York Rangers, another loss by the same mistakes committed on the ice have them spiraling down a hole they need to get out of.

New York Rangers- 2
Winnipeg Jets- 5
Final, Box Score
MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba

By Patrick Comia

On the day the new Star Wars movie hit theaters, the New York Rangers may have wished the Force was on their side. Last night’s performance on the ice would have made even the calmest of Rangers fans go all Kylo Ren on their tv screens.

The New York Rangers are now 0-5 in Canada this season, and adds to the misery of what is happening on Broadway.

As a fan, you could fault every single member for the embarrassment at the MTS Centre.

It’s hard enough for visiting teams to win there, with their fans’ “white out” and relentless heckling of players.

They love their team, and take pride in making the visiting team uncomfortable as possible.

For the Rangers it was no different, not only were they uncomfortable, they were embarrassed in all facets of the game.

Most of the game, they could not get the puck past the neutral zone. When they did, they were met at the blue line by the Jets defense.

Even when they had the puck, New York was surrounded by the aggressive forecheck of Winnipeg leading the puck to being turned over or just flung to an empty space on the ice.

Very few opportunities were seen in favor of the Blueshirts, and that seems to be dwindling with each passing game.

How many times do we have to see the same old stuff, done the same way, with the same result? It’s lunacy.

As was written before and before, the blame doesn’t just stop with the players, it’s time the coaching staff needs to be held accountable.

All three of the coaches are not getting through to their players hard enough.

Being a former defenseman, assistant coach Ulf Samuelsson should know a thing or two of basic defense-101. But as seen last night, the players are not getting what he’s preaching. Take Jets forward Bryan Little‘s goal last night to open the scoring:

See how he is left all alone in front? No one, I mean no one, was in the vicinity in front of Henrik Lundqvist to help defend. Marc Staal went behind the net to stop the puck from being played behind the net, but he doesn’t even make it hard for his man to play the puck. Instead of intercepting the puck or stepping in between, he elects to play the man leading to the play in front.

Another breakdown in the defensive play was the lack of coverage from Derick Brassard. You have to think that with both your defensemen down below the goal line, someone has to cover the front of the net, right? Well, Brassard and everyone else didn’t get that memo. As seen, it was he who was the closest to Little to have made some type of defensive play preventing an easy goal.

Should Alain Vigneault take that tough love approach with some of his players? Yes, he should. And my eyes are on you Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes.

Look at former head coach John Tortorella in Columbus. He’s grinding and twisting their star player Ryan Johansen, by calling him out publicly. All in the name of getting him to perform better.

Both players are becoming useless on the ice, and it’s alarming of how ineffective they have become. Confidence in their abilities to score have been lost at this point.

At least Hayes tries, though he distributes the puck way too much, a Rangers trait it seems. But, in Kreider’s case, he seems lost and chooses when he wants to participate.

When does Vigneault send a message to him in the form of being healthy scratched? After all, the head coach is juggling up lines. I’d have been satisfied if Oscar Lindberg took Kreider’s place in the lineup.

That might be something to consider with Sunday’s big matchup with the Metropolitan Division leading Washington Capitals. The magnitude of this game is significant, especially to gauge where the Rangers stand in the Metropolitan Division.

That’s your message right there! Heck, play Emerson Etem over him, while you’re at it. At least he remains engaged in the play.

If the Blueshirts want to have any chance of competing against the likes of the Capitals firepower, then things need to change. They have to change.

Or else, things could get ugly if not already.

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I'm a blogger trying to make it in this world. Have been, and always will be, a fan of the NYR and NYG. Writing for the New Jersey Devils cause, well, someone has to do it!