Listless, Sluggish Play Dooms Rangers in 5-1 Loss to Avalanche

For a while I thought about not even doing a post-game recap for tonight’s game. After all, if they didn’t show up, why should I? Nevertheless, I decided to show a little bit more effort than the New York Rangers did in tonight’s horrible and downright lackluster showing against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. I really feel bad for those who have to get up early tomorrow, who stayed up late to watch this disgusting effort.

Though the Rangers were technically tied with the Avalanche for the entire first period, they were never really in this game. They struggled to get simple shots through, let alone create scoring chances. They seemed to be three steps behind Colorado for the whole evening, and looked like they were skating through mud. With the game scoreless heading into the second, David Jones would score for the Avalanche just over a minute in.

From there on out, the “avalanche” of goals came crashing down on the Rangers. Kevin Porter scored six minutes after that, followed by Matt Duchene with just less than eight minutes remaining in the middle period. The third goal would prompt Tortorella to pull Lundqvist and replace him with Martin Biron, who would not fare much better. But Lundqvist was downright awful tonight, as each of the three goals he allowed on 16 shots were questionable, with two of them able to be considered soft.

The Avalanche would then add two more against Biron, one more in the second by Kevin Shattenkirk, a native of New York, and then one by Daniel Winnik in the third. The Rangers would erase Craig Anderson’s shutout with a meaningless goal six minutes into the final frame, when Derek Stepan snapped his 19 game goal scoring drought. He has now put up points in three out of his last four games, and was borderline their best player tonight, though no one stood out in a positive way.

As Brian Monzo said on Twitter, this was just one of those games when you just scratch your head. The Rangers were not just bad, they were awful. There was no flow to their game, and Anderson really only had to make one or two difficult stops the entire night. The Avalanche, meanwhile, did not look too amazing, but due to the fact that the Rangers were skating in circles, it made them look great. Not trying to take anything away from them, that’s just how bad the Rangers were tonight.

The powerplay was also disgraceful, as they went 0-5 and did not generate any scoring chances. I cannot even recall seeing a quality shot on goal during the ten minutes of man advantage time they had. The Rangers are a team that continues to play very streaky—some nights they look amazing, other nights they look like this. Perhaps they could have done without that 8-2 win over the Oilers last Sunday, as that got an awful lot of people excited.

This recap was kind of brief tonight, but there really is nothing left to say. The Rangers need to take a long, hard look at themselves and get their acts together, namely Del Zotto, who was on the ice for all four Colorado goals in the second period. This was both the team’s and his worst game of the season tonight. The Rangers will be in Minnesota tomorrow night to face the Wild in an important bounce-back game. If I were them, I would start Biron over Prince Lundqvist; the team seems to rally better around him.

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