NY Sports Day
Joe McDonald

McDonald: New York Deserves Better Than This

Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire

I’ve had root canal surgery that was less painful than this.

IRS tax audits give you less anxiety and frankly, the way the Rangers played tonight, they can cure insomnia.

After tonight’s 5-0 loss to the Penguins in Game 4, it’s safe to say, the Blueshirts are in the hockey equivalent of hospice. All hope is not lost, but frankly you are waiting for the inevitable.

Will it be Saturday? Monday? It’s just a matter of time.

After going to the third round or better three of the last four seasons, it’s safe to say, 2015-16 is just not their year. This team is different. Not 100 percent and not focused on the prize. They look tired out there and more interested in an early summer, rather than winning the Cup this season.

I may sound harsh, but that’s what Game 4 showed us.

Simply put they may want the Cup, but after so many games over the past few seasons, they want the rest as well. And frankly, you just can’t blame them.

This may be the last year of the core of this club. Oh there will be changes this offseason, so the Blueshirts can get younger and cheaper under the cap. It’s going to be tricky for general manager Jeff Gorton, but it has to be done.

The era of this club is over. Next year is going to be different and then you wonder if the Rangers can keep up after mortgaging the future over the past few seasons by trading draft picks and prospects for veterans at the deadline.

It’s a shame, really because you hoped there was one more run in this club. That’s why Gorton went out and picked up Eric Staal at the deadline. It’s why Glen Sather last season brought in Keith Yandle. They had the talent and drive, but again, this year was just different.

And there’s no shame in losing to the Penguins, who may be the second best team in the East. Coach Mike Sullivan installed a disciplined system to a very talented group and it worked. They bought in and now will probably face the Capitals, who are going through their own dream season.

Maybe going out in the first round will be a good thing for this team. It may reinvigorate Henrik Lundqvist and whomever the Rangers keep on the club this offseason.

Some rest will be good for them as they get ready for the 2016-17 season.

Coach Alain Vigneault will also have some soul searching to do as well. No one is calling for his head, by no means. He has done a tremendous job and will be back next season, but maybe he needs to be a bit more defensive in his system, especially during the postseason.

But AV is not the problem. You can’t blame him. He doesn’t play the game. It’s his players and Gorton will have to look closely at each of them and see who he can trade and who he should bring back.

These players have one, two, or by a miracle, three more games to prove it to their general manager.

But games like this don’t belong in the playoffs. New York deserves better than this.


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