New York Rangers: One ‘bad’ loss does not tell the story of this team

New York Rangers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
New York Rangers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The New York Rangers suffered their most catastrophic loss of the year in their 7-2  outcome to Pittsburgh. However, I stress that people cannot jump to conclusions just yet.

The position of goaltender is a mentally taxing task, but it has not been a problem for the New York Rangers for a long time because of Henrik Lundqvist.

It is one that requires 110% focus, confidence and preparation at a constant rate to perform consistently.

It is merely impossible to perfect this formula throughout an entire career, but if someone has come close, it is Lundqvist.

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Flukes happen.

We must remind ourselves Lundqvist is amongst the same species as the rest of us are.

This man stands on his head to snag back-to-back wins from Nashville and St. Louis, only to be thrashed for one rough outing in which he shouldn’t have been playing in the first place – something that David Quinn assumed responsibility for immediately following the game.

He needed to be rested after saving 73 out of 77 shots within the prior four nights.

Not to mention, it is commonly shared that there is nothing more uncomfortable for a goaltender than to be on the dominant side of tilted ice.

The first period was almost entirely played in the Penguins zone while the Rangers swarmed Matt Murray with scoring chances.

By the time the first horn sounded, the Rangers were out shooting Pittsburgh 12-5 and Lundqvist had been sitting stiff on the other end against a team with several world-class players that could break loose at any time.

And that is exactly what happened.

When the four goal avalanche dropped on the Rangers in the second, it was due to four quality scoring chances that on a good night (almost every other game) Lundqvist would have at least stopped a majority of them.

The scoreboard at the final horn might have told a deceptive story, but the Rangers dictated most of the tempo here.

In fact, the Rangers not only outshot Pittsburgh 30-25, they were dominant in hits, face off percentage and were just as disciplined as the Penguins.

Yes, bad goals are bad goals and it cost the game here. But for all the games this man has stolen for this franchise over the years, I think a mulligan can be given.

That aside, I don’t think that the loss has anything to do with the competence of this hockey team moving forward.

It is such classic New York fans and media that after one fluke game, everyone starts screaming “may day” and calling for a fire sale.

People seem to see the 7-2 and mentally short-circuit while forgetting the spark notes of the entire game (or they never watched it in the first place).

Stop letting the score deceive you.

One game goes down the sewer because of a naive coaching decision, and all of a sudden people are chanting for the white flag.

I admit, it is a difficult to be two games away from the half-way mark and be seven points out of a playoff spot, but yet still in “contention.”

This team is nowhere near elite, but I don’t think it’s out of the question to say they can compete with quality NHL teams.

If there is one thing we can agree on, management sure does have tough decisions this month – especially with several players on pace for career seasons.

Give this team a little bit more time before you start looking for people to blame.