The New York Rangers (13-11-2) were defeated by the Winnipeg Jets(14-11-2) by a score of 3-1.
With their victory the Jets moved ahead of the Rangers for 8th place and now hold a tie breaker over them.
Michael Del Zotto took an early penalty, albeit a relatively weak call, and the former Ranger Nik Antropov made his former team pay just under two minutes into the game. Props to Michael Haley for knowing when to drop the gloves and slow down Winnipeg’s momentum. I hope Stu Bickel was taking notes. About halfway through the period Marian Gaborik hooked Dustin Byfuglien, which resulted in Henrik Lundqvist bailing him out on a penalty shot. The Captain, Ryan Callahan, scored the Rangers lone goal a minute into the 2nd period only to see Jets once again take the lead late in the period. At the end of the game the Rangers pulled Hank and Byfuglien broke his stick giving the Rangers a brief 6-on-4, but they failed to score and Andrew Ladd sealed the deal.
I was only able to watch the very beginning and very end of this game thanks to the late start and class so I am going to touch on something else besides what took place in this game.
Last year when the Rangers were down by a goal late in the game I believed up until the very last second they would pull off the comeback. This year I don’t even have hope that will happen. As time was dwindling down in a 2-1 game, I just assumed things would end up as a 3-1 lose and they did! That is the real difference between this year’s team and last year’s. This team doesn’t have the heart and extra gear in the 3rd period to pull off these games. Some might say it is just the law of averages coming back to bite them and others will say it the lack of training camp and conditioning that has caused them to lose that last fifth gear. However, I think it is something deeper than that. I think the team feels the same way I did as the time was running out, they just can’t do it. They have become so demoralized and disconnected that it is creating uninspired play. The group of players this year or last was never the most talented bunch. But what they had was the will to win and imposed that will on their opponents better than any other team. Now with that gone they just look like another ordinary team. The team’s morale will have to change before we see any significant improvements on the ice.