These are the events in the past few years that the writers here at Blue Line Station wish that the New York Rangers never got themselves into over the past few years.
It’s Christmas day. You open all of your gifts, and while you love a lot of them, there are some that make you scratch your head and think, “why would they ever get me this?”
So you go to the store the next morning with a bag with your misfit gifts in one hand and your receipts in the other, looking to salvage what you can of these misfortunate items.
That’s what the team here at Blue Line Station has done. Yesterday we talked about the gifts or moves the Rangers should make in the coming months and now we are going to talk about the gifts or events that we wish the Rangers never endured.
Karly Redpath: The Rangers’ double-overtime loss to the Kings in Game 2 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final
In case you have forgotten (you probably haven’t) here are the full highlights from the double overtime loss against the Kings in 2014.
The Rangers were ahead 4-2 going into the third period. The play that got the Kings within one came on a controversial goal from Matt Greene – controversial because there could have been a call for goalie interference as Dwight King was in the crease and basically tackled Henrik Lundqvist. The game-tying goal came from Marian Gaborik about halfway through the third period. Finally, the heartbreaking game winner came off a tip-in by Dustin Brown.
The Rangers played their best hockey of the series during Game 2. If the Rangers had won, there is no question it would have changed the outcome. Momentum in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is extremely important to the play of a team, and being down 2-0 in the series versus being tied at one game apiece would have made a huge difference.
Though the Rangers may have still lost in Game 3 because they were definitely outplayed in that game), but they would have had a good shot at winning Game 5. Beyond this, history shows that Lundqvist plays his best hockey in late elimination games, and the Rangers would have had a different mindset if they had some more momentum going their way.
Timothy Haggerty: The Strength of the other Metropolitan Division Teams
The Rangers and the seven other teams in the Metropolitan Division have been plagued with competition unlike any other division in the league. The tension in the standings leaves little to no room for error.
For scale, the Chicago Blackhawks are the only team out west with more points than the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, Columbus Blue Jackets, Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals; all Metropolitan Division teams. That tandem makes up five of the top eight teams in the league. Any short losing spurt could send the Rangers plummeting out of the division race.
Thomas Crincoli: Zuccarello’s Pass-happiness
Sometimes you get a present from a family member that you really like, but unfortunately, it was something that you either A.) already had B.) needed a different size C.) just couldn’t find any use for. The gift means well, so you feel bad and wish they would have spent it on the money on themselves or found better use for it.
This scenario reminds me of every time Mats Zuccarello has a wide-open opportunity to shoot the puck, but decides to make an extra pass instead. His Rangers teammates and fans know that his heart is in the right place, but sometimes receiving can be better than giving, so I will be returning that extra pass this year. We’ve seen Zuccarello dressed up in holiday spirit time after time, but when he’s wearing that New York Rangers sweater, he has a pass to be a little more selfish.