The New York Rangers season is over. It ended in yet another disappointing fashion as it has year after year. In an effortless attempt to try and force a game seven it just didn’t go the Rangers way. A series in which you can say the Rangers had won but shot themselves in the foot would be a tremendous understatement. In game six against the Ottawa Senators, they were flat and lacked the energy we had seen in games three and four.
Off a poor start, the Sens knew the Rangers didn’t have it and bounced on them early. When the first twenty minutes came to a close, the Blueshirts were booed off the ice because they were trailing 2-0 on goals from Matt Hoffman and Matt Stone. The middle period was much of the same for the Rangers. They were able to cut the lead in half briefly when Mika Zibanejad got them on the board only to be trailing once more minutes later thanks to an Eric Karlsson goal.
Period three started with the Rangers scoring 53 seconds into it making it a one goal game once more and had the Garden buzzing again. You wondered where this Rangers team was the previous forty minutes. The puck didn’t roll their way as Ottawa was able to contain the Rangers and hit an empty net to secure the series victory. The Rangers of course did leave the ice with a salute from the fans, those that stayed until the very end, as they saluted back as well.
Questions will now have to be answered. It will take some time to analyze what went wrong but when you ask most of the Rangers players they will look at this series as the one that got away because they handed it to the Senators. Not to discredit the effort by the Sens, the Rangers gave up lead after lead numerous times in this series. Up until tonight’s game six, the Rangers never trailed by two goals.
How much can you ask of Henrik Lundqvist who, year after year carries this team. Many players didn’t step up when needed too and will now have to live with that as the off-season gets underway. You’d have to question if the coach was on the same page with the players during these final few games because much of the decisions from Alain Vigneault were questionable and we barely saw or heard answers from him on those questionable decisions. For starters, in the postgame, Vigneault thought the Rangers came out ready to play where captain Ryan McDonagh thought otherwise by saying, “We came out slow, it’s as simple as that. We can’t put ourselves in a hole, but we did and I don’t know why. We were all pretty focused in here, saying the right things. But it’s a difference between saying and doing, and that showed up on the ice.”
To have both the coach and the captain on two different pages can certainly raise some eyebrows as to what is happening in that room. We will know more as the coming days will have the Rangers to swallow this loss and disappointment to see where they go from here. It will certainly be a busy offseason due to the expansion draft and key players may not be here when the season starts back up in October. Only time will tell for the New York Rangers.