The New York Rangers have been unable to learn how important consistency is in the NHL. They learned another hard lesson in Ottawa.
The New York Rangers’ roller-coaster of a season hit the low point Friday night in Ottawa. A 4-1 loss filled with more miscues and poor play seemed to stick out more than any game this season.
An impressive win over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday was all but forgotten with 57 ticks off of the clock Friday night.
“An abysmal game in so many ways. Give Ottawa a lot of credit. I thought they played hard, they played smart, they won every foot race, they won every one-on-one battle. At the end of the day, that’s been the trend for us,” Quinn told Vince A. Mercogliano of Loud.com
Quinn was very disappointed with the team’s effort against Ottawa. It’s not just the kids that were struggling on Friday.
Defensive pairings floundered, forwards could connect on quick simple passes and the penalty kill was horrendous. The whole team was at fault, including the coaching staff on this night.
The team has been unable to find a way to battle through adversity all season. The Rangers found themselves in that very position before the first minute of the game had passed.
The Rangers continue to make bad decisions that cost them goals against.
It falls on the coaching staff. Quinn has been unable to push the right buttons to keep this team playing a strong, smart hockey game every night. The players need to learn how to play hard every game, every period and every shift. They need to realize nothing comes easy in the NHL.
Quinn recognizes his part in the team’s bad play.
“You try everything,” Quinn said. “You try shaking lines up, you try yelling and screaming, you try coddling. I just got to keep trying to find ways to do it.”
It’s great to hear the coach admit his flaw, but he has t been able to come up with the answer to the question of why the team comes up with great hockey games that are preceded by some really bad hockey.
There are 23 players on the Rangers, a mixture of 21-year-olds playing with some very good veteran players. The club cannot always rely on Artemi Panarin, Pavel Buchnevich and Ryan Strome.
There have been patches of surprisingly good play on the blue line with Adam Fox leading the way for the rookies. Along with Kaapo Kakko and Ryan Lindgren, the team has the foundation to become a threat every night.
Their focus within a game is what’s being questioned. The determination to play hard every night is missing. The team needs to play with the heart of Filip Chytil, who, following his recall from Hartford, has been the best player on the ice behind Panarin.
This team needs to finally form into one decisive unit. It’s can no longer be the kids and the veterans, but one team.
The players and coaching staff have to become a cohesive unit if they are going to begin to transform into the hockey club that the organization has been assembling for the better part of two years.
First, they have to figure out how to play a 60-minute game. They have to learn how to hunker down in games where they fall behind early and figure out how to kill off penalties with efficiency.
The rebuild is long gone. This has become a group of players searching for their own identity now.
It’s time to stop watching the game and start being a part of the hockey game.
The team will try again to play a complete game when they take on the Montreal Canadiens Saturday night.