For the past seven seasons, the New York Rangers have been able to make the playoffs, and come close to the cup. Although they have not won the Stanley Cup since the 90’s, Ranger fans have been used to the team making the playoffs. Yet this season they have little to show for, and most definitely will not make the playoffs. The organization made huge trades at the deadline, adding youth to the team, and many question the teams actions.
Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh mentioned recently, the Rangers haven’t gotten enough from their top players, and the captain is among that group. Players Zuccarello and J.T. Miller have been the team’s two most productive players but need to be more consistent away from the puck. They haven’t been able to go on a hot streak, resulting in the season being a roller coaster. Their power play has gone ice cold, 8-for-69 over the last 24 games. One sportscaster said “Another ugly reminder of how bad things were to begin the season was some downright shabby defensive play, complete with terrible decision-making and half-hearted efforts.” (Cerny). The Rangers special teams haven’t been able to produce enough, which is another factor leading to their terrible season. Defensively the Rangers have been porous, with Nick Holden on the top pair and Brendan Smith disappointing after a great playoff run. Huge hockey fan and supporter of the Rangers David Koslow said “This season is a gigantic joke. The defense seems to let the opponents score with ease, and not even contest their shots”. The anger he feels is shared with many other fans as well. In the past, the team hasn’t had the best defensive lines, but this year has been a low for them.
The disappointment this season has been a wake up call for the organization to change things up, sign new players, and create a different type of play. Fans have been fortunate enough to enjoy the past couple seasons, watching the team fight for the cup. It’s just odd for many to see them not make the playoffs, instead holding one of the bottom spots in the rankings.