New York Rangers, Mats Zuccarello
Photo by Bergen Record

The New York Rangers lost a brutal game in Carolina last night and the backlash has been significant. But are fans really giving up already?

By Chris Wengert

Listen, I understand the frustration that a good portion of New York Rangers fans were feeling following last night’s loss.

Outside of Rick Nash and Chris Kreider, who dusted off some moves that we have not seen in a good while, the Rangers looked like a steaming pile of crap.

The defense once again demonstrated their inability to move players out of Hank’s sight lines, the forwards couldn’t make a tape-to-tape pass to save their lives, and the whole team became pass happy yet again.

Not a “good look” from a playoff bound team by any stretch of the imagination.

But what was really disconcerting were the reactions, or should I say overreactions, from the Rangers fan base.

Is the Blueshirt faithful really ready to give up on their team two weeks before the playoffs begin? Have we been that spoiled over the past few years?

Here are three common themes from the fan base:

“The Rangers are not Cup contenders.”

Alain Vigneault is playing favorites and it’s killing this team.”

“The brasses failure to address the Rangers’ defensive woes before the trade deadline is killing the team.”

Am I saying that this team is going to win the Stanley Cup? No

Am I saying that all of Alain Vigneault’s decisions have been stellar? Far from it.

Do I agree with all of Jeff Gorton’s trade deadline moves? Well, here is one area where I feel Gorton was handcuffed by Glen Sather.

A majority of Rangers’ fans believe that Gorton should have moved Dan Girardi and Marc Staal, which would have been very difficult.

Dan Girardi has a no-trade clause, Marc Staal a no movement clause, both of which are very difficult to navigate if the players are not willing to waive said clauses.

And why would Girardi and Staal want to waive their respective clauses if they believe the Rangers have a shot at the cup? Why would these players want to be traded from a team that they love?

So how is Jeff Gorton supposed to manipulate two players who don’t want to be traded into signing a document that waives their no trade/movement clauses?

Hopes and dreams?

Trading these players was out of the question, plain and simple.

I’m usually a pessimistic fan. Usually, I would be right there hollering and throwing things at the television.

But I finally realized that I am a fan of the New York Rangers, a team that never makes things easy.

Did you really expect the Blueshirts would clinch a playoff spot on their first try?

Did you really expect that the Rangers were going to play perfect hockey for the remainder of the season?

If you look back in the archives, the 2014 New York Rangers also lost some bad games down the stretch. They lost to the Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, and Ottawa Senators, none of which were stellar teams.

Don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. My optimism for this team doesn’t stem from blind loyalty, but rather a belief that this team has the tools to make a deep run if they’re hitting on all cylinders.

Rick Nash and Chris Kreider are playing well, Eric Staal is slowly finding his game, and the defense, despite their shortcomings is serviceable.

Not good, but serviceable.

I was surprised to see so many Rangers’ fans jumping off of the ship following the Carolina loss. Some were discussing next season already.

The playoffs are two weeks away. The New York Rangers will clinch.

And the Blueshirt fan base needs to relax and keep the faith.

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  1. Well all of it was spot on but that’s what makes it so sad. Buncha Penguin worthy pseudo fans who deserve to go 54 years again without a Cup for whining about such minutiae BS. Or would we rather miss the dance altogether like Canada is doing. Or not have played the most playoff games of any team the last 5 years. Embarrassing to witness all the pettiness actually.

  2. An organization’s successes create such expectations. That’s all there is to it.

    The LAST thing in the world the NYC fan wants to see is Lundqvist go down in history as the next and most recent Ewing. ….and we’re seeing it in front of our very eyes.

    The worst part for me is this…..I would actually have great confidence in the squad heading into tourney time (keeping 2013-14’s sudden outburst in my mind)….but I quickly realize this blueline is NOT capable in comparison to the 6 from two years ago.

    No CHANCE a squad with Dan Boyle playing every night, and Dan Girardi playing at this level could ever make a run. And as great as Yandle has been offensively, he’s good for a few defensive gaffes at the worst time.

  3. Gorton has no say in any final moves ! Anyone who thinks that the ego maniac and control freak that Sather is, has been, and always will be is not still running everything from his ” Presidents” box does not know a lot about the Dolan- Sather Ranger management system ! Sather hates criticism that’s why he rarely did interviews he thinks his word is god and that he is above that. He saw things were going to go down this year so he ” promoted a figure head” Gorton to take some of the heat off him. Sather commands – Gorton obeys that is the reality and if we are ever going to reverse this new downslide Sather will have to be gone!!!

  4. There’s no doubt, Chris, that you give a damn. But you’re a writer, a journalist…”steaming pile of crap”? Was this juvenile form of expression yours or something pressed on you by editors? Ratchet up your quality a bit. It would help.

  5. those three quotes you put up are valid. i am a hardcore ranger fan but i don’t believe in this team this year. they are just too inconsistent. will they clinch? obviously. will they go two rounds? not likely.