Granted, I have not been around the last two or three weeks, but the Rangers seemed to realize there is a problem.
I read a quote after Saturday’s loss that Renney said this isn’t the worst it’s been, and he offered something similar before the game last night, but he and the players seemed to know there’s a mess on their hands. In fact, Brendan Shanahan used that exact word.
Here are some snippets from the bowels of the Mausoleum:
*RENNEY on the state of the locker room:* I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t seen the team quit, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s for sure. The bottom line is, there’s some solace in that, but the reality of it is, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s (loss) No. 6.
*RENNEY on benching Nylander:* He and some other guys, I wasn’t happy with how they were playing. Michael is a puck-handling master, but there’s a time and place for it. And I thought the penalty was pretty tough on our team. … We’re not going to pull ourselves out of this thing properly if we don’t pay attention to the little things.
*SHANAHAN on ‘this mess’:* It doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make you feel any better to say it, but we do feel like we put ourselves in this mess and weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going to get ourselves out of it.
Also, *Renney did feel Brendan Witt elbowed Jagr in the first period.* I asked him exactly that and he said ‘yes,’ and this was right after he disclosed that his team should’ve had more than one power play in the first 59:54. *Jagr said he wouldn’t comment on whether or not he was elbowed* but said this: “(The league) said they were going to call it more, but they don’t. … I’m not complaining. That’s hockey.”
I know you’re all going to jump on him for that, especially on a night where he had five giveaways and five shots (but none until the third period), but he’s right. There was an elbow by Witt.
With everything to sort through afterward, no one asked Renney about the Straka decision, which produced just three shots on goal for Straka, Cullen and Shanny. I’m guessing that will be something to discuss at practice tomorrow morning, along with Ortmeyer’s status.
If you guys have any question, you’ll have to give me a while to get back to you. I’m headed out to my car now. Feel free to discuss the postgame stuff here while I’m driving back to Westchester and I’ll try and answer whatever I can either tonight or tomorrow.