They could not have made it more clear had they announced it in the middle of Times Square. It has been that apparant from the play of the Rangers during this three game road trip, and a trip is was, that this team cannot and will not play consistantly good hockey. They will find a way to lose ever game, even to lowly Edmonton. After coming off of a solid three game winning streak, the Rangers reverted to old form and were not able to skate with the Flames or score on the Canucks and Oilers. So what is the problem with this team? Why can such a talented team who seem to have such high potential not be able to piece together a bunch of wins? Why must every winning streak be accompanied by a losing streak before and after it?
You can say it again, that they are overpaid and overrated, but the forwards are plaiying better together now than they ever had. The chances are there, but it seems like the Rangers are unable to capitalize on them, as they have been unable to capitalize on this season.
The entire conference is bunched together, every point means a whole lot. It is unacceptable to be floundering below mediocraty in January. Is this going to be another year where the Rangers are written off as the biggest dissapointment before they wake up? Can this team not handle high expectations, and are only capable of winning when nobody thinks they are? Two years ago, they were picked to go last and they started off great. the expectations came, and they collapsed. Last year, they were picked to do well and they flopped, until they lost their expectations and they did well again. this year, the expectations were higher than ever and the disappointment was their to match is.
So what does this all mean? What can be done to rectify the situation?
The answer lies in motivation, something that can come with two things: A trade or a firing.
Fire Tom Renney and these boys wil start to play some hockey. light a fire under their collective behinds and watch them run. Watch them win the games they should win and most of the ones they shoudl not.
Trade Jaromir Jagr, the epitome of laziness, the skilled Marcle Hossa, the moody mistress who only plays when he is happy. Show the players that nobody is safe and at the same time dump the risk of paying his 8 million dollar salry next year. Get a good defenseman and some prospects, maybe a good yound forward. Give the young players some ice time. How is Prucha supoposed to do anyhting if he is on the ice for 5 minues per game.
Do one of these two things and I guarentee a division title and at least a trip to the Conference Finals.
Do it Glen Sather, because I know that you wont.