I’m not sure it’s saying much when I suggest I had a better night than the Rangers did last night. I’m pretty sure the fry guys at your local Wendy’s had a better day’s work as well.
But after a great day skating in a memorial hockey game to celebrate the life of my friend Scott Tucker, I made the obligatory phone call to my colleague Josh Thomson to check in on the events at the Garden. What followed was a comical sequence of me asking Josh to repeat himself about seven different times — in part because of the music playing in the background on my end; but also because I’m not sure I could fathom the Rangers giving up two short-handed goals in a 3-2 loss to Columbus.
This is my problem: After following this team from the informal skates before training camp and into the heart of the playoff race, I still find myself surprised that they’ve underperformed to the extent that they have. Am I delusional? Should I just accept the fact that the Rangers are not very good, and a tad dysfunctional to boot?
Probably. With the Rangers six points out of a playoff spot with 20 games remaining in the season, the scary part is there is still ample time for them to make up ground. And yet when you look at how they’ve imploded over recent weeks, there is little reason to think they won’t just continue to fade over the final 20 games.
And yet, here’s the other part to consider: judging by Tom Renney’s comments last night, it sounds like the Rangers will try to do something to upgrade between now and Tuesday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline. I know what some of you are thinking: what, for heaven’s sake, is the point?
I’m not sure I have an answer, nor do I know who they might be looking to move. What you can hope for is that whatever moves the Rangers make will be ones in which they don’t part with any valuable assets, and instead just take on the salary of players they can afford to pay.
Anything more than that sounds misguided, and to be honest, counterproductive.