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.
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.
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.