Maccabees Games

A look at the New York sports scene and the sporting world at large.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Rangers Relapse

I am reluctant to comment on a game I did not see but I feel that I must.

Prior to the game against the Flyers, the Rangers had won three straight, the last two on the road. The wins came against two teams in playoff position and one fighting for its playoff life.

You would think that the Rangers with two straight wins on the road and eight of the next nine games being at home would like to get off to good start on their home stand. But that was not the Rangers’ mindset.

This Flyers team which just traded away Peter Forsberg, one of the premier players in the league, for essentially future draft choices and players with potential came out like gang busters.

Is it possible that the Flyers remember being outplayed at the garden on January 4th? Is it possible the Flyers were upset about losing to the Rangers in Philadelphia on January 27th? Do the Rangers remember that they only scored a total of 5 goals in those games? Do the Rangers remember that up until recently they’ve had an abysmal power play? Do they realize that with this game they are reverting to their old ways by being 1-7 on the power play? Do they realize that they embarrass themselves when R.J. Umberger, who could have been playing for the Rangers, if Ranger management had the foresight to see what type of player he would become, scores a shorthanded goal?

Now with Brendan Shanahan in the hospital with an almost certain major concussion and Henrik Lundqvist painfully shouldering the goaltending load, what can we expect from the Rangers? What can we expect from the Rangers coaching and management staff?

Do you think Kevin Weekes possibly injured himself because he hadn’t played since December 21st? Do you think this insulting effort by the Rangers contributed to Shanahan colliding with Mike Knuble?

Unfortunately, with the Rangers it seems to be the same sad old story.

If the opportunity to fail presents itself, the Rangers never fail to take that opportunity.


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