The New York Rangers were routed in Game 4 by the Pittsburgh Penguins in perhaps the worst game played at MSG in a decade.
New York Rangers fans have had it pretty good over the past five years.
We have witnessed two Eastern Conference Finals appearances, magical moments, epic comebacks, and even a Stanley Cup Final.
Yet after last night’s debacle, we deserve more.
More effort, more coaching, more heart, more competitiveness, more desperation.
New York Rangers fans live and die by their team. There is no question in my mind that Blueshirt fans are some of the most knowledgeable and passionate fans in all of sports.
And when I say that fans deserve more, I’m not suggesting that the Rangers have to win a Stanley Cup or even advance to the next round.
But the Garden faithful do deserve a competitive game, and there is no reason why the Rangers shouldn’t be able to deliver that much.
It’s no secret by now that the Rangers are over matched.
A variety of Penguins’ players have stepped up in this series, and most of the Rangers roster have not.
It would be a waste of energy to dissect last night’s game because anyone who watched it could easily pick out the serious issues surrounding this team.
The team looks beat, battered, and broken.
They look like warriors who have returned from a lost battle, only to be sent right back to the front lines.
They look mentally and physically unable to compete, and the coaches seem perplexed by Pittsburgh’s strategies.
I’ve said this a few times this year, but I maintain that Martin St. Louis had a larger role on this team than most will give him credit for.
When he spoke, I can guarantee that players listened.
I’m speaking with my head and not my heart.
The Rangers brass will have more than a few important to decisions to make in the off season, starting with the coaching staff.
Yes, this Rangers team probably just isn’t talented enough to be contenders, but Alain Vigneault made some mind boggling roster decisions.
Keith Yandle and Dan Boyle paired together, Tanner Glass matched up against Sidney Crosby, and the handling of players like Kevin Hayes are all issues that need to be carefully examined in the off season.
The bottom line is that New York Rangers fans deserve more.
While not entitled to success on the ice, the Garden faithful should be entitled to an unquestionable effort by their hockey team.
An effort to be proud of.
Listen, I hope that I’m wrong. Maybe the Rangers will play loose in the upcoming games and find some more of that Stepan OT magic.
Either way, one thing is for sure.
New York Rangers fans deserve much more than what they witnessed last night.