New York Rangers: An Open Letter to the Blueshirts Organization
May 9, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) reacts after losing game six of the second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs to the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Another year, another New York Rangers playoff failure. While past losses have stung, this year’s collapse has been downright disconcerting.

Dear New York Rangers organization,

What the heck was that?

No seriously, what was that pile of junk that we all witnessed last night? One thing is for sure, it certainly wasn’t the New York Rangers team that we, the fans, are proud to call our own.

Call me a bad fan, a traitor, or whatever other synonyms you like. I was not proud of you last night.

You had an opportunity to force a Game 7 in an elimination situation at Madison Square Garden, and you completely blew it. Again.

Let’s be completely honest with each other- you all crapped your pants and choked. Losing a game which your best effort is one thing. Take last year for example.

Fans knew that last year’s New York Rangers didn’t have the horses to make any type of run. There’s no shame in losing when your team is simply not great.

But consistently blowing multiple goal leads and losing games with seconds left on the clock?

Yeah, you all choked and we the fans have a problem with that.

There are no exceptions to this either, because of everyone, including our “elite” captain and franchise goaltender, put forth mediocre efforts at best.

Henrik Lundqvist, you allowed another soft short side goal yet continued to shrug your shoulders and yell at your players throughout the Ottawa series.

Sure, you were phenomenal against the Montreal Canadiens, but what happened to that calculated, loose game?

I’m sure I’ll be burned at the stake for giving you an ounce of criticism, but when the going gets tough Hank, great leaders are able to keep their cool and effectively motivate their players.

Over the past two years, we the fans have watched you continuously yell and berate your team on the ice following their mistakes. Imagine if the tables were turned every time you allowed a soft goal?

Ryan McDonagh, you played a great defensive game throughout the playoffs, but my gosh you are bad offensively. You continuously mishandle the puck on the blue line, wait too long to shoot or pass, and are too lackadaisical when your goalie is pulled.

Sure, we can’t expect you to be perfect, but your mistakes created numerous turnovers and killed your team’s momentum throughout the playoffs. You are no Brian Leetch, sir.

Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes, and J.T. Miller, where to start with you three. Hayes, remember this farce of an article which you “wrote” for the Players’ Tribune? What a joke. If you haven’t figured it out by now, New York Rangers’ fans have no patience for soft play throughout the playoffs. Zero.

Kevin, you are one of the biggest players on the team, yet you play like you are made of glass. If you only had the stones to go to the dirty areas, perhaps you could have made a difference throughout this series.

Oh, we haven’t forgotten about you either, Mr. Kreider. Showing up for 10 minutes in Game 6 does not absolve you from being absent for the rest of the playoffs. Sure, you scored a couple goals, but where was that relentless north/south game which you are known for playing under the bright lights?

Miller: woof. I don’t know if you sent a representative to play for you and wear your jersey, but you were horrible. No really, you were bad. So bad in fact, that we didn’t even recognize you. For whatever reason, you decided to play a fancy-pants game in the playoffs.

Yeah, that doesn’t work dude.

Your grit was nonexistent and you basically contributed nothing, offensively. Instead, you were a turnover machine. Keep trying to stick handle around three or four players J.T., let us know how that goes for you.

Sure, the whole picture wasn’t completely doom and gloom.

Tanner Glass, you have more heart than any other player on that team. Talk about class and professionalism, you toughed it out in the AHL for the entire season and didn’t complain a bit.

Yet when your opportunity came, you cashed in on it because of your hard work and passion.

Michael Grabner, it was a pleasure watching your renaissance this season. Sure, it would have been nice to see you cash in on more of your opportunities, but there is only so much one player can do.

Oscar Lindberg and Jesper Fast, if only Alain Vigneault gave you some more playing time when you were red hot, you probably could have made more of an impact in this series.

As for the defensemen.

You guys are warriors. A good portion of the fan base will blame you for the loss, but what can you do? There is no fountain of youth which will fix your broken, aging bodies.



Alain Vigneault, you messed up too. Do you really think that those little golf claps on the bench will motivate your team when they are down 2-0 in an elimination game?

When it comes down to it, we the fans, love this team. We are a group of lemmings who will continue to cheer and die by our team. We will never give up on the New York Rangers.

On this day, however, we are not proud of you.

10 COMMENTS

  1. The blame it on Hank narrative is ridiculous. He stole the Montreal series and in 4 of the 6 games vs Ottawa (1,3,4,6) he had a combined sv% of .939 and a GAA of 1.75. In the 2 overtime games where they had a team wide meltdown (emphasis on team) he gave up 11 goals and posted an .845. Those numbers would have looked drastically different if the TEAM had been able to close out those games in regulation. He was certainly not blameless in those losses (or in the other two for that matter) but to suggest that finishing 2 rounds of the playoffs with a .927 sv% and a 2.25 GAA was somehow not enough is expecting way too much. But that is par for the course with respect to Hank’s critics who think he should singlehandedly win the Rangers a Cup.

    • Due respect, but if you read what I wrote, I said he was great against Montreal. Having said that, when your team isn’t playing well, you need to make a big save to find a way to win. His short side goals were brutal throughout this series. Yes, he was great against Montreal, but very mediocre against Ottawa.

  2. There was plenty of blame to go around but I hardly see the point of criticizing McD who had 2 pretty good series. He scored 7 points in 12 games, he has no reason to hang his head in shame (even offensively). It isn’t that 95% of your criticisms aren’t true, it’s just that sometimes you’re missing the bigger picture of the player.

    Should add, I’m a big Stepan supporter, but you had no criticism for him … he deserves to shoulder the blame just like Kreider, Miller and Hayes, even if he had more points than all of them.

    As for the D, Staal was horrible and a weak link; Holden was a turnover machine aside from the two nice and important goals he scored. Girardi was a warrior against Montreal and had a few good games against the Sens, but we saw glimpses of the Girardi we saw throughout most of this year and last.

    The elephant in the room though is the coaching staff. I’ve disagreed with a number of things AV has done in the past, yet still I supported him and didn’t wish to see him fired. I still don’t know if I want to see him fired, but to a large degree he and the staff cost us this series by making a number of questionable calls late in games. He would bench the defensemen who were playing well and put out the pairing that arguably had been the worst of the 3 in numerous games. He shortened his bench and sat a line that had played very well while we had a lead late in a game, etc. etc. The only way to stop his mania for playing these players in crucial situations is by buying them out and/or trading them.

  3. This article is extremely poorly written. The conclusions drawn in this article, from the hockey that was just played, are illogical in every way. Not one point you make is backed with any examples, either in the form of gifs/videos or statistics, and therefore your points are not logical. You just said “X player was bad.” What makes you say that? Show me why he was bad. At least tell me why in something other than “HE WAS SOFT.” If I handed this article into a kindergarten teacher, she would tear it apart. Your points are not intelligent. Therefore, your writing is not intelligent. You writing this article and expecting to make coherent points without making examples shows your lack of skill as a writer. I would recommend a new hobby. Not only should you not be writing, but you shouldn’t be watching hockey altogether, because if these points are what you thought about when you were watching the games, you are a raving lunatic. Overall: F-.

    • … the fact you don’t “get it,” makes you not “master of the universe,” as you try to showcase during your comment.

      It’s an “open letter.” A simple collection of thoughts from the “fan” perspective.

      Sorry you don’t get it. Just move on instead of being the asshole you know you are.

    • Hey Dan,

      I appreciate your comments, but to sound like a raving lunatic was very much the point of my open letter. I’m mad at the organization and the team for how they squashed a golden opportunity. The article was never meant to be a full analysis of what happened, but rather how I (and many other fans) simply feel about the team, which is why it’s an open letter.

      Thanks for your comments-

  4. It is easy to blame Staal and Girardi. It is easy to ask AV why Tanner Glass is in the lineup while Buchnevich sits. The Rangers lost this series because of a few issues that have plagued this organization seemingly forever. They have a horrific time breaking out of the defensive zone. This to me is the main issue. They cannot win face offs, get pinned in their end for more than 35 minutes a game and are exhausted by the end of the 3rd period. Ever wonder why they can never win a game in overtime? This is the reason, they are exhausted. This is not a conditioning thing, this is due to a lack of strength up the middle, and a lack of defensive speed. They cannot win face offs and get a puck out of the defensive zone without icing it. I have seen our Captain ice the puck so many times, all that does is extend the shift on the ice and tire everyone beyond repair. Also, the goaltender is relied upon way too much. Lundy is no Mike Richter, but is/was still good enough to win a Cup with. As the author stated RMD is no Brian Leetch, but then again, who is? Leetch in my opinion is the greatest defenseman to ever wear a Ranger uni, bar none and is in the Bobby Orr, Ray Bourque area as one of the all time greats. RMD could not sniff any of those guys jocks. Another huge issue is the lack of a dominant leader who we can count on to come through. The greatest Ranger of all time took our team on his back in 1994 and willed us to a Cup. Now again, there is/was only 1 #11 granted, but look what Eric Karlsson did for Ottawa. He willed his team to win games 5 & 6. We are missing that guy, and where we will get him is anyone’s guess. Yes the Rangers are always good, yes they are always in the playoffs, but they have never been good enough to win it all (except for 22 years ago which is like 1940 already) and something has to change for that to happen. Remember, we have the New England Patriots of the NHL (the Pittspuke Pens) as well as Columbus & Washington, 2 real good teams right in our division. I would not be surprised if Columbus and perhaps the Islanders fly right by us over the next season or 2 leaving the Rangers on the outside looking in. Also, the Devils have the #1 pick in this years draft and if they get a player like Connor McDavid, watch out.