Fans can feel it, players can feel it, and coaches can most definitely feel it when you play well enough to win and you don’t get the outcome that you should. The Rangers are certainly residing in that area right about now.
Outside of their season opening loss to the Islanders, each Rangers loss the team has been competitive and in every game until the final buzzer.
For the last number of years the Rangers biggest team issue has been being able to keep the puck out of their net. Especially last season where the Rangers could seemingly fill the opposition’s net at will but were just unable to stop anyone consistently. This year it’s been the exact opposite, well…unless Georgie’s in net.
Since the Rangers decided to waive DeAngelo and Jack Johnson has been out with injury the Rangers have played with a lot more structure defensively. Unfortunately enough for them the results in the win-loss column haven’t reflected it.
Even with their powerplay being dreadful, that’s me being nice about it, the team has still been in games and have had chances to win but they just haven’t been able to close games out. This past week’s games have illustrated just how annoying the beginning this season has been.
With a bitter shutout loss against the hated Islanders and back to back heartbreakers against Boston, the Blueshirts are showing they have what it takes to be a tough team but they just can’t get puck luck to go their way. Whether it’s running into a hot goaltender like Varlamov or having goalies stand on their heads like Rask and Halak, it’s been utterly frustrating to watch this team outplay their competition on most nights and still come out on the short end of the stick.
To make the Rangers fortunes even worse their season has been embodied in the struggles of Mika Zibanejad. Much like his team, he’s been doing all the right things and just hasn’t been getting the result that he deserves.
While it’s encouraging how well the team has been playing for still being in a rebuild, the only thing that truly matters in pro sports is wins. Right now the Blueshirts can get all the moral victories they want but it won’t mean a thing unless they start stacking points in an extremely stacked division.