(Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire)
The game is simple.
It’s played for three periods and two twenty minute intermissions in between.
The Rangers need to tack this on their wall.
Today’s 2-1 overtime loss to the New Jersey Devils is the perfect example of the Rangers not playing up to their standards for sixty minutes.
Instead they played one good period and turned it on automatic pilot, as if they wanted to watch the Jet game instead.
“It felt like there was low energy in this game,” said goalie Henrik Lundqvist. “Maybe it’s the way that they play; they sit back a lot and wait for mistakes and we try to play a tight game. So comparing to the earlier games where there was more speed and more energy, today was more about minimizing your mistakes and playing a smart game. Not a lot of chances. It’s disappointing, obviously. Coming home we felt like we needed to get a win here and start building more positive energy in the group, but we have another chance already tomorrow.”
Maybe they stayed up to watch the Matt Harvey last night.
The bottom line is they didn’t give it the full effort.
“For whatever reason they took over and we just really weren’t able to get it back,” said center Derek Stepan, who scored the Rangers goal in the first. “We had some looks to bury some goals and that would’ve made a huge difference. We just weren’t able to do it today. A big thing we have to do is stay confident. You can’t starting fighting it. As soon as you do that it’s going to get worse. We just have to get better each day and be a confident group going into tomorrow night.”
Great, but here’s the Rangers problem so far. Their Top 6 still haven’t performed up to snuff. Chris Kreider is looking like last year’s Chris Kreider and not taking that next step and Rick Nash is in playoff form.
The Rangers need to dominate the lesser teams of the league and today they needed to make a statement to the Devils, a team with just one point on the season. Instead they looked like they played down to their competition.
So there’s a lot to work on. The good news is that they get the Sharks tomorrow at the end of three games in four day tour of the Metropolitan area.
“I think win or lose there’s always something to improve on,” said defenseman Dan Girardi. “You lose three in a row, you obviously have to think hard and dig deep and figure out what you yourself can do for the team and how we can all get together and push in the same direction, get everyone giving 100 percent and playing good. I think it’s just keeping it simple, get the puck in when we have the chance. We don’t need to make the play every time in the neutral zone, especially when we’re having a couple tough shifts.”
They just need to remember, the game is 60 minutes.