Good afternoon from the Carrier Dome. Nice game last night, huh?
Nice road trip. Nice 3-in-4. Nice back-to-backs. Are these guys not in the kind of condition they claimed to have been in when the season began? Or were they just outclassed? No doubt, the Rangers do not have the skill to match teams like Pittsburgh, not to mention teams like Tampa. They will have to outwork them, out-goalie them, out-special-teams them (not likely). They will have to play well defensively (ahem, that’s 18 goals against in the last four games, and that includes the really good game in Florida).
So don’t hold your breath. I don’t think the Rangers are this bad, but they sure aren’t nearly as good as the team that started 7-1 with special teams and defense and conditioning and goaltending.
That all said, I think you have to live with it. I really do. I understand your frustration and anger. But this is what you signed up for. You wanted to see the young kids? You have to accept it when they take their lumps. You want to complain about the veterans who’ve been stinking it up? That’s fine. But the results are what they are, and that’s at least in part due to the youth on the roster —and I wonder how much of that youth would even be here if it weren’t for the salary cap situation.
You live with Michael Del Zotto’s -5, which is hard to do in a game in which your team allowed six even-strength goals. You live with it.
I don’t think you live with the fourth line being on the ice when Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are feasting on your rookie defensemen and backup goalie. I don’t think you live with the fact that this team has no checking presence at all, no defense-minded forwards or shut-down defensemen to deal with top-shelf opposition talent. That’s another matter, though.