Just a quick observation:
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It seems to me that the Rangers' series against the Caps has been somewhat of a microcosm of their entire season.
Part A: The fast start. The Rangers jumped out 2-0 on the caps, away from home, much as they seemed unstoppable for the first month of the regular season.
Part B: The slow down/collapse. Despite the huge advantage, the Rangers returned to MSG and should have put away the series. Instead they lost two of the next three, and got beat up in the games they did lose. In the same way, the Blueshirts struggled after their quick start to the regular season, flirting with the ultimate disaster - missing the playoffs all together.
Part C: Coaching change. Torts got himself a game suspension for losing his cool (which, by the way, was a deserved punishment) and now Schoenfield will take over the reigns, albeit for a single game. Rewind to the regular season, where Tom Renney got the axe and Tortorella came in to try to get things turned around.
That leaves the team at a crossroads. Obviously the coaching change is a different scenario, but the question remains the same - will the team rally around it and get the job done? Or will the problems continue to grow and allow Washington to gain control and ultimately take the series. In the regular season the Rangers were able to do just enough after Tortorella took over to secure a playoff spot and move on to the next stage. They'll have to do the same this time if they expect to continue playing.
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