The Rangers have five straight days without a game next week.
Normally that would sound pretty nice. Take some time to heal. If you’re Jaromir Jagr, that’s at least five days in which you won’t be further exasperated by your inability to score. If you’re Sean Avery, that’s at least five days in which you can show up in the gossip pages.
For the Rangers, though, my guess is next week is going to be torture.
Look, last night was bad for all the obvious reasons. The Rangers couldn’t score when they needed to, couldn’t get a big save when they needed one, and looked generally flabbergasted against a team that—in addition to having far superior facial hair—simply exhibited greater composure.
But last night on its own merits wouldn’t be so alarming if it didn’t follow up Tuesday’s clunker against the Kings. Or if it didn’t come on the heels of seven other losses to Western Conference opponents. Or, for that matter, if it didn’t follow up four months of hockey that has been maddeningly inconsistent.
Which brings me back to next week, because depending on what happens this weekend in their trip through the Delmarva Peninsula, the Rangers might well spend those five days watching the Buffalos and Bostons of the world eclipse them in the standings.
OK, so maybe that’s not the end of the world. There’s still plenty of hockey left, and the Rangers were even further back at this point last year. But you again have to wonder whether this team has another run in it.
A frustrated reader stopped by the press box in the waning seconds last night—I didn’t catch your name, but I dig the Ortmeyer jersey—and said he had enough of the “Honor, Respect, Tradition” opening before home games.
I’m with you. For all the Rangers’ good intentions, that opening seems awkward right now.
Why not just a montage of clips of great moments in team history? Believe it or not, there’s enough to go with there. From the GAG line to JD’s performance against the Isles in ‘79, to an endless supply from ‘94.
Heck, throw in some clips from last year’s Atlanta series or Michal Rozsival’s double-OT goal against the Sabres.
Anything’s better than what’s being offered now.